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The Two Volumes 

are forwarded to you 



December 187&. 

32 Castle Street, Edinburgh. 



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Content? of Clolumc tftr0t. 


TITLE-PAGE— Doorway of Branxholm Hall. 



THE SCOTTS, . . . •■'. • • • v-xvi 


BUCCLEUCH, . . . xvii-lxxxviii 





ARMORIAL SEALS, . . . . . . .527 


OF BUCCLEUCH, etc., .... 

PEDIGREE of Scotts of Buccleuch, by William Fraser, 
„ Scotts of Buccleuch, \ 

,, Scotts of Sinton, 

,, Scotts of Harden, 

„ Scotts of Raeburn, 

„ Scotts of Scottstarvit, 

) by Sir Walter Scott, 

5 2 9 




Sir Michael Scott, called The Wizard, . . between xxxiv and xxxv 

Walter, First Earl of Buccleuch, .... 242 and 243 

Francis, Second Earl of Buccleuch, . . . 272 and 273 

Lady Margaret Leslie, his Countess, . . . 272 and 273 

Lady Mary Scott, Countess of Buccleuch, __ . . 320 and 321 

AValter Scott of Highchester, Earl of Tarras, . . 320 and 321 


Illustrations in Volume First — Portraits — continued. 

Lady Anna Scott, Duchess of Buccleuch and Monmouth, 

and her two Sons, .... between 

James, Duke of Buccleuch and Monmouth, 

George, First Earl of Melville, 1690, 

James, Earl of Dalkeith, .... 

Lady Henrietta Hyde, his Countess, and her Sister, 

Francis, Second Duke of Buccleuch, 

Lady Jane Douglas, his Duchess, 

Francis, Earl of Dalkeith, their Son, 

Lady Caroline Campbell, his Countess, 

John Lord Scott of Whitchester, and his Sister, Lady 
Caroline Scott, children of Earl Francis and Countess 
Caroline, ....... 

Henry, Third Duke of Buccleuch, .... 

Lady Elizabeth Montagu, his Duchess, 

Charles William Henry, Fourth Duke of Buccleuch, . 

The Honourable Harriet Katherine Townshend, his Duchess, 

Henry Lord Montagu, Second Son of Duke Henry, 

George Henry Lord Scott, Eldest Son of Duke Charles, 

Lord John Douglas Montagu-Douglas Scott, 

His Grace Walter Francis, Duke of Buccleuch, . 

Her Grace Charlotte AnneThynne, Duchess of Buccleuch, 

William Henry, Earl of Dalkeith, .... 

Lady Louisa Jane Hamilton, his Countess, 

Walter Henry, Lord Eskdaill, their Eldest Son, 


400 and 401 
400 and 401 
436 and 43? 
482 and 483 
482 and 483 
484 and 485 
484 and 485 
486 and 487 
486 and 487 

488 and 489 
494 and 4g$ 
494 and 495 
502 and 503 
502 and 503 
508 and 509 
510 and 511 
510 and 5 1 1 
512 and 513 
512 and 513 
512 and 513 
512 and 513 
5 1 2 and 5 1 3 


Doorway of Branxholm Hall as Title-page. 
Branxholm Hall, in Teviotdale, 
Hermitage Castle, in Liddesdale, 
Newark Castle, in Yarrow, . 
Royal Arms on Newark Castle, 
Dalkeith House — Front View, 
Dalkeith House — Back View, . 

liv and Iv 
lviii and lix 
lxii and lxiii 
lxii and lxiii 
lxiv and lxv 
lxiv and lxv 


Illustrations in Volume First — Castles — continued. 

Armorial Bearings of Sir Walter Scott and Lady Mar- p age 

garet Douglas, his Spouse, at Branxholm, . between 156 and 157 

Caroline Park, near Granton, .... 498 and 499 


Title-page of Satchell's History, .... 
Inscription on same by Sir Walter Scott, 

Part of Holograph Pedigree of the Scotts, by Sir Walter Scott, 
Charter by King William the Lion, of the lands of Balwerie, 
Charter by Thomas de Colevill, called Scott, to the Abbey of Vaudey. 

The Harden Spurs, ...... 

The Harden Bugle Horn, ..... 

First page of Sir Walter Scott's Eve of St. John, 

The Bellenden Banner, ...... 

Part of Charter by Robert Scott, fifth Lord of Rankilburn, 1415, 

Holograph Writing of King Charles the First in a Book in the 
Library of Dalkeith House, ..... 

Page in Bible of Mary Countess of Buccleuch on her marriage day, 

Certificate by the Duke of Monmouth to the Earl of Melville, . 

Receipt by Adam Smith to Duke Henry, for Annuity, . 

Armorial Bearings of the Duke of Buccleuch, 

Facsimiles (reduced) of the Garter Plates of James, Duke of 
Buccleuch and Monmouth, Henry, Duke of Buccleuch, and 
the present Duke of Buccleuch, .... 

Arms of the Scotts of Buccleuch and Balwerie, and Scott of Auld, 

xxx and xxxi 

xxx and xxxi 

xxxii and xxxiii 

xxxiv and xxxv 

xl and xli 

lxviii and lxix 

lxviii and lxix 

lxxxiv and Ixxxv 

26 and 27 


285 and 286 




440 and 441 
490 and 491 
526 and 527 

526 and 527 
526 and 527 

Walter, First Earl of Buccleuch, to his Sister, Lady Ross, 
Francis, Second Earl of Buccleuch, to his Countess, 
The Committee of Estates to the Earl of Wemyss, 
Countess Mary to her Husband, .... 
Margaret Leslie, Countess of Wemyss, to Lady Highchester, 
King Charles the Second to the Countess of Wemyss, 
James Duke of Monmouth to the Earl of Wemyss, 
James Duke of Monmouth to Lord Melville, 
Francis, Second Duke of Buccleuch, to Lord Royston, . 

262 and 263 
294 and 295 
296 and 297 
368 and 369 
374 and 375 
404 and 405 
416 and 417 
436 and 437 
486 and 487 




in Volume First — continued. 

V.— ARMORIAL SEALS. Woodcuts of— 



Walter, Second Lord Scott of Buccleuch, 


Thomas de Colevill, called Scott, 


Walter, First Earl of Buccleuch, . 


Robert Scott, Fifth Lord of Rankilburn 

, 29 

Lady Mary Hay, his Countess, 


Sir Walter Scott of Buccleuch, 


Francis, Second Earl of Buccleuch, 

3 ! 9 

David Scott, Lord of Buccleuch, . 


Lady Margaret Leslie, his Countess, 


Grissel Scott, Lady Borthwick, 


The same as Countess of Wemyss, 


Sir Walter Scott of Buccleuch, 


Oliver Cromwell, Protector, 


Sir William Scott of Kirkurd, 


Mary, Countess of Buccleuch, 


Sir Walter Scott of Branxholm, . 


Walter Scott of Highchester, her Hus- 

Sir Walter, First Lord Scott, 


band, signing as Buccleuch, . 


Walter, First Earl of Buccleuch, . 


Anna, Duchess of Buccleuch and Mon- 

Francis, Second Earl of Buccleuch, 27 

3. 319 

mouth, ..... 


Mary, Countess of Buccleuch, 


Anna, Duchess of Buccleuch and Mon- 

Anna, Duchess of Buccleuch and Mon 

mouth, as Duchess of Buccleuch and 

mouth, ..... 


Lady Cornwallis, .... 


James, Duke of Buccleuch and Mon 

James Duke of Buccleuch and Mon- 

mouth, ..... 


mouth, ...... 


Medal of James, Duke of Monmouth, l6£ 


Lady Henrietta Hyde, wife of James 

Earl of Dalkeith, .... 


Francis, Second Duke of Buccleuch, 


VI.— SIGNATURES. Woodcuts c 


Lady Jane Douglas, his wife, 


Walter Scott of Satchells, . 


Francis, Earl of Dalkeith, . 


Grissel Scott, Lady Borthwick, 


Lady Caroline Campbell, his Countess, 


Janet Betoun, Lady of Buccleuch, 


Henry, Third Duke of Buccleuch, 


Sir Walter Scott of Buccleuch, 


Lady Elizabeth Montagu, his Duchess, 


Margaret Scott, Lady Johnstone, . 


Charles, Fourth Duke of Buccleuch, 


Sir William Scott of Kirkurd, 


Walter Francis, Duke of Buccleuch, 


Sir Walter Scott of Branxholm, . 


Charlotte Anne, his Duchess, 


Prince Maurice of Nassau, . 


William Henry, Earl of Dalkeith, 


Walter, First Lord Scott of Buccleuch, 


Louisa, Countess of Dalkeith, 


Margaret Ker, his wife, 


Walter Henry, Lord Eskdaill, 






Object of the work stated, ....... 

" Lay of the Last Minstrel," by Sir Walter Scott, regarded as a family history, 
"True History of the Family of Scott," by Walter Scott of Satchells, 16S8, . 
Family Histories of the seventeenth century, by Godscroft, Sir Thomas Urquhart, etc 
Satchells' story as to the origin of the Scotts : John of Galloway and the Buck, 
Similar traditions — the Mackenzie Buck, Somerville Serpent, etc., 
The rarity of the first edition of Satchells' History : prized by Sir Walter Scott, 
Pedigree of the Scotts written by Sir Walter Scott, with facsimile of portion of it, 


Richard Scott, circa 1158, . 
Richard Scott of Molle, circa 1190, . 

William Scott, son of Richard of Molle, .... 

Tradition of Satchells as to early possession of Scotstoun by the Scotts of Buccleuch, 
Oaths of fealty by Scotts to King Edward the First of England in 1296, 
Probable origin of surname of Scott : wide use of the appellation in early charters, 
Cradle of Scotts of Buccleuch : Holy Cross Kirk at Peebles their early burial-place, 
Description of the Rankilburn glen and of the old mansion of Buccleuch, 
The old church of Buccleuch : exploration by Scott and Hogg in 1S01, 
True origin of the name Buccleuch : meaning and nse of Cleugh, 

Vicissitudes of the Buccleuch Muniments, on the Borders, on the Bass, and in Edinburgh. 
Mansions and Castles : 

Scotstoun Hall, in Peeblesshire, earliest known residence of Scotts of Buccleuch, 
Mansions of Murdieston or Murthockston, in Clydesdale, and of Buccleuch, 
Branxholm Hall, acquired in 1446 : its demolition, and re-erection in 1576, 
Black Tower of Hawick, now the Tower Hotel : occupied by Duchess Anna, 
Hermitage Castle held by the Scotts as its keepers, and purchased by them, 
Langholm Tower : raids of the Armstrongs, and acquisition by Buccleuch, 
Newark Castle, in Yarrow : its history and possession by the Scotts of Buccleuch, 
Dalkeith Castle : its early possessors, and its reconstruction by Duchess Anna, . 
VOL. I. b 

























The Scotts of Harden : Celebrated members of the family, . 
The Harden Spurs, . 
The Harden Bugle-horn, 
The Flower of Yarrow, 
Muckle-mouthed Meg, 
" Ugly Meg," by Lady Louisa Stuart, 
Muckle-mouthed Meg a myth, 
Harriet Baroness Polwarth's collections. 
Henry late Lord Polwarth, 

Notes on the heir-male of the Scotts of Buccleuch, 

Acknowledgments of contributions from several private Repositories, 

Discovery of the original draft of the " Eve of St. John," 















Chapter First — RICHARD SCOTT, first Lord of Rankilburn and 
Murthockston. Circa 1265-1320. 

Acquires by marriage the lands of Murthockston, or Murdieston, in Lauarkshire, . 1 

Swears fealty to King Edward, and is reinstated in his lands in Selkirk, 1296, . 2 

The lands of Rankilburn (Buccleuch) held by Nigel de Heriz, King's " forestar," 1236, 6 

Acquisition of Rankilburn by the Scotts of Murtjiockston, between 1249 and 1296, . 7 

The various territorial designations of the Scotts of Buccleuch, . . . S 

The Parish and Church of Rankilburn, and the Manor-hoiise of Buccleuch, . . 9 

Death of Richard Scott of Rankilburn about the year 1320, . . . .10 

Chapter Second— SIR MICHAEL SCOTT, Knight, second Lord of 
Rankilburn and Murthockston. 1320-1346. 

Succeeds his father : his Christian name of Michael unique in Buccleuch Family, 
Present under Archibald Douglas, Lord of Galloway, at Halidon Hill, 1333, . 
Slain in the battle of Neville's Cross, near Durham, 17th October 1346, 



Chapter Third— ROBERT SCOTT, third Lord of Rankilburn 
and Murthockston. 1346-1389. 

Succeeds Sir Michael Scott his father, and holds the lands of Kirkurd, 

Connection of the Scotts of Rankilburn with the Scotts of Peebles, 

Death of Robert Scott of Rankilburn, about the time of the battle of Otterburn, 



Chapter Fourth— SIR WALTER SCOTT, fourth Lord of 
Rankilburn and Murthockston. 1389-1402. 

Succeeds Robert his father, obtains Crown Charter of the superiority of Kirkurd, 
" Borgh " for keeping the articles of the Border Convention held at Haldane, 139S, 
Falls in the battle of Homildon Hill, in Northumberland, 1402, 


Chapter Fifth— ROBERT SCOTT, fifth Lord of Rankilburn 
and Murthockston. 1402-1426. 

Succeeds Sir Walter Scott his father in the estates of Rankilburn, etc., 1402, . 
His territorial designations : exchanges Glenkery for Bellenden, 1415, 
Bellenden as the rendezvous and watchword of the Scotts : the Bellenden Banner, 
Acquires half of the lands of Branxholm from John Inglis of Manor, 1420, 
Resigns the lands of Borthwick in favour of Sir William of Borthwick, 1410, . 
His death : his children, Walter, his successor, and Stephen Scott of Castlelaw, 



Chapter Sixth— SIR WALTER SCOTT, Knight, sixth Baron of 
Murthockston, first designated Lord of Buccleuch. 1426-1462. 

Capture of Gilbert Rutherford, a noted Border marauder, circa 1426, . . . 30 

Acquires second half of the lauds of Branxholm from Thomas Inglis, 1446, . . 32 

His kinship and political relations with Chancellor Crichton : knighted in 1424, . 33 

Opposes the Douglases during their rebellion, and defeats them at Arkiuholm, . 35 

Rewarded by King James the Second with the forfeited lands of Whitchester, . 38 

Erection of the Barony of Branxholm by King James the Third, December 1463, . 39 

Conservator of Truces with England, at Loudon, Durham, etc., 1438-1460, . . 40 

Acquisition of various lands : designated "Lord of the Buccluche," 1431, . . 41 

His marriage with Margaret Cockburn of Henderland : his children, and death, . 45 

Chapter Seventh— DAVID SCOTT of Buccleuch, Branxholm, 
and Kirkurd. 1468-1492. 

Appointed Governor of Hermitage Castle by Archibald, Earl of Angus, 1470, 
Alliance with the Earls of Angus : marriage of his son David Scott, 
Supports King James the Third in opposition to Angus and the Nobles, 148S, 
Re-erection of Barony of Branxholm for his services, and his son Robert's, 14SS, 
Acquisition of lands of Drumcors, in Linlithgowshire, Mangerton, etc., 1452-1484, 
His last Will and Testament : his children and descendants, 




Chapter Eighth — DAVID SCOTT, younger of Buccleuch. 

Circa 1450-1484. 

Marries Lady Jane Douglas, daughter of George, fourth Earl of Angus, 
Keeper of the Hermitage and Bailie of Liddesdale, along with his father, 1472, 
Importance of the Buccleuch family : early death of David, 



Chapter Ninth— SIE WALTER SCOTT, Knight, of Buccleuch, 
Branxholm, and Kirkurd. 1492-1504. 

Retoured heir to his grandfather, 1492 : his short and uneventful life, . . 60 

Obtains decreet against the Routlages for burning the Manor-place of Buccleuch, 1494, 62 

Witness to Queen Margaret's infeftment in her jointure lands in the Forest, 1503, . 63 
Marriage with Elizabeth Kerr of Cessford : his family and death, . . .64 

His widow burnt by the English in the Tower of Catslack, in Yarrow, 154S, . . 64 

Chapter Tenth— SIR WALTER SCOTT, Knight, of Buccleuch. 


Succeeds in minority to his father, 1504, and holds the estates for nearly fifty years, . 65 

Present at the Battle of Flodden, and probably knighted on the field, 1513, . . 66 

His services to the Regent Albany, and retour as his father's heir, 1517, . . 6S 

Protects Melrose Abbey lands, and is appointed hereditary bailie of Melrose, 1525, . 69 

Dispute with the Queen Dowager, and imprisonment in Edinburgh Castle, 1524, . 70 

The Scots and English Borderers : power of Buccleuch in Liddesdale, . . .72 

Inroad into Edinburgh with the Earls of Angus and Lennox, 1524, . . .73 

His hostile feeling towards the English, and support of Angus against Arran, . . 74 

State of the Borders : Liddesdale and Tynedale laid under interdict, . . .76 

•Joins Lord Home in the raid on Stirling against the Earl of Arran, . . . 7S 

Secret missive from the King to Buccleuch, urging the King's rescue, . . .79 

Battle of Melrose and defeat of Buccleuch, 1526 : Latin verses by John Johnston, . SO 

Marches on Edinburgh with army of Lennox against Angus, 1526, . . . S2 

Retirement to France, 1526 : friendship of King James the Fifth, . . S3 
Appointed cupbearer by the King, 1527 : receives pardon, and is allowed to return, 152S, S3 

Fall of Angus, and vindication of Buccleuch by a declaration of the King, 152S, . S5 

The English Ambassador's opinion of Buccleuch as a counsellor of the King, . . 86 


Act of Parliament approving his action at Melrose, September 152S, . 
"Broken men" of the Borders : capture of Cockburn of Henderland, . 
Buccleuch and other barons warded in Edinburgh : Johnnie Armstrong hanged, 152S, 
Royal grant of the forfeited lands of the Earl of Angus in Jedburgh Forest, 1529, 
Temporary cessation of the feud of Scotts and Kerrs : bond entered into, 1530, 
Buccleuch captured by the English under Simon Armstrong and Clement Crosar, 1531, 
Branxholm Castle burnt by the English : Buccleuch leads 3000 Scots into England, 1532, 
. Power of Buccleuch and other Border Chiefs : insecurity of the Borders, 
Buccleuch warded at the King's will in the Castle of Edinburgh, 1535, 
Second imprisonment and release, 1540-1 : he offers to preserve good rule in Teviotdale 
His opposition to the return of Angus after the death of King James the Fifth, 
Approves of a French alliance by marriage of Queen Mary with the Dauphin, 
English raids on the Borders: formidable attack on Branxholm, 1544, 
Lively interview between Buccleuch and Wharton on the Queen's marriage, 1544, 
Battle of Ancrum Moor, and defeat of the English by the tactics of Buccleuch, 1544, 
Commands a large force at the battle of Pinkie Clench, 1547, . 

Bond of Buccleuch and the Kerrs and the gentlemen of Teviotdale against the English 
Makes a feigned submission to the English : Newark burned by the English, 1548, 
At the Parliament of 1548 : new outbreak of the feud with the Kerrs, 
Great destruction of Buccleuch property by Lord Grey and the Kerrs, 1550, 
Appointed Warden of the Middle Marches for nineteen years, 1550, 
Bonds of Manrent with the Queen, the Kegent, and Archbishop Hamilton, 
Appointed Governor-General and Justiciar of Liddesdale, April 1551, . 
Warden and Justiciar of the Middle Marches, June 1551 : his energetic rule, 
Exempted from certain judicial duties in consideration of his age, 1552, 
Murdered by the Kerrs in the High Street of Edinburgh, 1552, 
Punishment of the Kerrs by the Government, and revenge of the Scotts, 
Buceleuch's three marriages : his children by the different marriages, . 
Dame Janet Betoun, Lady Buccleuch, leads an attack on the Laird of Cranstouu 
Her friendship with Queen Mary, and her letter to the Queen Regent, 
































Chapter Eleventh— SIE WILLIAM SCOTT of Kirkurd, Knight, 
younger of Buccleuch. Circa 1520-1552. 

Called " Whitecloak : " " As fortune smiled or frown'd, Content that worthy was," 
Bond before Parliament at Linlithgow to resist the "old enemies of England," 1545, 
At the battle of Pinkie : Bond of Manrent to the Queen Regent, 1549, 
The Lords of Council decide on the division of the Debateable Land, 1552, 
His marriage to Grissel Betoun, sister of his father's third wife : his children, 



Chapter Twelfth— SIR WALTER SCOTT, Knight, of Branxholm 
and Buccleuch. 1549-1574. 


Sir James Melville's estimate of his character — " wise, true, stout, and modest," . 135 

Reconciliation of the Scotts with the Kerrs, and intermarriage of the families, 1565, . 136 

Feud of Scotts and Elliots, the latter subsidised by the English, 1564-1566, . . 142 

Lawless state of Liddesdale, 1560-1569 : " Fain to be slaked with water-kail, " . 146 

First expedition by .Regent Moray to settle the Borders, 1561, . . . 147 

Second expedition of the Regent, 1569, and the assistance rendered by Buccleuch, . 148 

Kelso bond of barons and burghs against the Armstrongs, Elliots, etc., 1569, . 149 

Character of the Liddesdale men contrasted with that of Scotts and other clans, . 150 

Buccleuch appointed Captain of Newark and Chamberlain of Ettrick Forest, 1566, . 151 

Supports the cause of Queen Mary, and lays waste the English Border, 1570, . 152 
The Earl of Sussex invades Scotland and enters Teviotdale, 1570, . . .153 

Destruction of Branxholm Castle, Ferniehurst Castle, and other fortresses, etc., 1570, . 154 

Huntly, Buccleuch, and others surprise the Regent Morton, etc., at Stirling, . . 155 

Buccleuch and Ferniehurst march on Jedburgh : defeat and imprisonment of Buccleuch, 156 

Rebuilding of Branxholm Castle by Buccleuch and his widow, 1571-6, . . 157 

His early death at the age of twenty-five : his children by Lady Margaret Douglas, . 159 

Marriage of his widow, Lady Margaret Douglas, and Francis, Earl of Bothwell, . 160 

Chapter Thirteenth — SIR WALTER SCOTT of Buccleuch, Knight. 
(Created Lord Scott of Buccleuch in 1606.) 1565-1611. 

Served heir to his father and great-grandfather, 1574, . . . . .162 

End of feud with the Kerrs, on payment by the Kerrs of a penalty of 1000 inerks, 1578, 164 
Serious feud of the Scotts and Lady Bothwell with the men of Liddesdale, 15S0-15S4, 164 
Buccleuch warded in Blackness Castle, but escapes from prison, . . .168 

Feud with Scotts of Allanhauch ends : subscription of a bond of maintenance, 1585, . 169 
Appointed with Cessford and others to suppress the Jesuits in Roxburghshire, 1590, . 170 
Receives the honour of knighthood at the coronation of Queen Anne, 1590, . . 170 

Exploits of Francis Stuart, Earl of Bothwell, step-father of Buccleuch, . . 170 

Buccleuch implicated : obtains a pardon and a licence to depart abroad, . . 171 

Second visit to France : examined before the " Cour des Aides " touching the genealogy 

of Andrew Scott, Sieur de Savigne, 1600, . . . . . .172 

Grant to Buccleuch of Hailes and other forfeited lands of the Earl of Bothwell, 1594, 174 
Takes part in the conflict at Dryfe Sands, 1593, and in the raid of the Reidswire, . 177 
Buccleuch reappointed Keeper of Liddesdale after his return from France, 1594, . 178 

Buccleuch's activity as Warden shown in "Jamie Telfer o' the Fair Dodhead," . 17S 

Days of Truce held by the Wardens on the English and Scottish Borders, . .179 



Kinmont Willie : his pursuit by the English and imprisonment in Carlisle, . . ISO 

Buccleuch rescues him from Carlisle Castle with a force of eighty horsemen, 1590, . 182 

Indignation of Queen Elizabeth, who demands the delivery of Buccleuch, . . 187 

Buccleuch's defence and the decision of the Scottish Privy Council, . . . 190 

Protracted correspondence on the subject between King James and Queen Elizabeth, . 193 

Fears of a conflict between Scotland and England through this misunderstanding, . 200 

Inroad by Buccleuch and Cessford, and their surrender to the English, . . 204 

Hospitable treatment of Buccleuch, and tradition of his interview with Elizabeth, . 205 

Quarrel between the Laird of Buccleuch and the Laird of Cessford, . . . 207 

Feud between the Maxwells and Johnstones, Buccleuch with the former, . . 208 

Disturbed state of the Borders, and meeting of Commissioners at Carlisle, 1597, . 209 

Raid into Tynedale by Buccleuch and Sir Robert Kerr, younger of Cessford, . . 211 

Their refusal to appear before the English and Scottish Wardens of the Marches, . 213 

Queen Elizabeth demands their surrender, and King James refuses, . . . 214 

Buccleuch warded in Edinburgh Castle by order of the King, .... 219 

End of the negotiations, 1597, by the surrender of Buccleuch to the English, . . 220 

.State of the Borders, 1575-1603, and expeditions against the Borderers, . . 221 

Estimate of damage doue by Armstrongs in the last great Border raid, 1 603, . . 226 

Re-erection of the Barony of Branxholm during Buccleuch's absence, 1599, . . 229 

Letter of approval and indemnity under the Great Seal, 1608, .... 230 

Satchells distinguishes the "Freebooter" from the "Border thief," . . . 232 

Effect of the Union of the Crowns on the lawless state of the Borders, . . 233 

Buccleuch serves in the campaigns in the Netherlands, 1604-1609, . . . 235 

Letter to " le Baron de Baclouch" from Prince Maurice of Nassau, 1011, . . 236 

Created a Baron of Parliament, with title of Lord Scott of Buccleuch, 1 606, . . 237 

Marriage to Margaret, daughter of Sir William Kerr of Cessford, 1586, . . 239 

His children : his daughter Margaret, Lady Ross, and Countess of Eglinton, . . 240 

Chapter Fourteenth — WALTEE, first Earl of Buccleuch. 


Investiture as heir to his father, Walter first Lord Scott of Buccleuch, 1612, . 243 

Settlement of the negotiations concerning Bothwell lands, .... 244 

Attempts at his assassination by Robert Elliot of Redheuch and Gib the Tutor, . 245 

Marriage to Lady Mary Hay, daughter of Francis, Earl of Errol, 1616, . . 247 

Created Earl of Buccleuch for the service of his ancestors, 16th March 1619, . . 248 

Profuse hospitality at Branxholm Hall — " Supper and dinner most renown'd," . 249 

Acquisition of lands of Sinton, Tarras, Hassinden, aud others, 1612-1622, , . 252 


Commands in the Netherlands, 1627-1633 : "like Hannibal, that noble Earl he stood," 

Death of the Countess of Buccleuch, and recall of the Earl by King Charles, 1631, 

State of the Borders during the years 1618-1633, .... 

The Earl visits Scotland, 1632, and returns to the Netherlands, 1633, . 

His return to England, and death at London in November 1633, 

Conveyance of body from London to Hawick, and funeral procession, June 1634, 

Inventory of the personal estate of the first Earl of Buccleuch : his children, . 

Lady Elizabeth Scott, his daughter, Countess of Mar, .... 

Lady Jean Scott, his daughter, Countess of Tweeddale, 

The Scotts of Mangerton and Gorrinberrie descended from Earl Walter, 



Chapter Fifteenth — FEANCIS, second Earl of Buccleuch. 


His early life with his aunt, Lady Boss, and education at St. Andrews, 

Purchase of the lands of Dalkeith, and settlement concerning Bothwell estates, 

Marries Lady Margaret Leslie, daughter of John, sixth Earl of Bothes, 1646, 

His action in public affairs, 1641-1647 : sits in Parliament when fourteen, 

Member of the Committee of Estates for directing the movements of the army, 1644, 

His regiment at the capture of Newcastle, 1644, .... 

Odes on the Bellenden Banner by Sir Walter Scott and the Ettrick Shepherd, 

His vassals repel the invasion of the south Border by Montrose, 1644, 

His loans to the Estates, and connection with the Covenanting party, . 

His military and Parliamentary opposition to " The Engagement," 1648, 

Inspector of the levies in Forfarshire raised in opposition to Cromwell, 

Explanation of the heavy fine of £15,000 imposed by the Protector, 

Estimate of his character by the Earl of Lothian and other contemporaries, 

Seizure of Dalkeith Castle by English : Buccleuch Muniments removed to the Bass Rock 

Efforts of the Earl to regulate the Borders during the Civil War, 

Commission to him for burning witches in the parish of Eckford, 1650, 

Executes a Bond of Tailzie, and makes his last Will and Testament, June 1650, 

Death of Earl Francis in his twenty-fifth year in Dalkeith Castle, November 1651, 

Marriage of the Countess- Dowager to David second Earl of Wemyss, . 



Chapter Sixteenth — LADY MAEY SCOTT, Countess of Buccleuch. 


Her birth and early years in Dalkeith Castle and Wemyss Castle, 

Residence of General Monck in Dalkeith Castle, ... 

Account of the fine of £15,000 imposed by Cromwell in 1654, and of its reduction, 

Lord Tvveeddale's schemes to obtain control of the Countess and her sister, 

Opposition of Highchester and the Countess of Wemyss to the Earl of Tweeddale, 

Petition of Lady Wemyss to Cromwell, and the reply of Cromwell, 1654, 

Letter from Tweeddale to the tutors, and their decision as to her residence, 1655, 

Decision by the tutors that Lady Wemyss should have charge of her daughters, 

Mr. George Hutcheson dedicates his "Exposition of the Gospel of John " to Mary, 

Projects for the marriage of the infant Countess of Buccleuch, 165S-9, 

Warrant by the Kirkcaldy Presbytery for her marriage without proclamation, 1659, 

Marriage to Walter Scott, younger of Highchester, in the Church of Wemyss, 1659, 

Action for reduction of the marriage immediately raised by the tutors and overseers, 

The Countess before the Judges : her sequestration in Dalkeith Castle, 

Ecclesiastical proceedings with reference to the marriage, 1659, 

Dissolution of the marriage by Sir John Nisbet, the Commissary, 20th April 1659, 

" No love so true as mine to you," — the motto of the diamond ring, . 

The seal letters of Countess Mary to her husband, 1659, 

Unskilful treatment of her arm by a surgeon, and indignation of General Monck, 

The marriage ratified September 1659, on the Countess attaining the age of twelve, 

Scheming of Rothes, Lady Wemyss, and Tweeddale, to obtain custody of her, 

Consultations of Physicians and Surgeons on the illness of the Countess, 

The Countess "touched" for her malady by King Charles the Second, 1660, 

Her last illness and death at Wester Wemyss, March 11, 1661, 

Rothes obtains the ward of Countess Anna, and resigns it for £12,000, 

Reduction of the Marriage-contract of the Countess Mary and the Earl of Tarras, 

Elegy on the Countess Mary : " So wise and young, so young and so complete," 



WALTER SCOTT of Highchester, Earl of Tarras, Husband of Mary 
Countess of Buccleuch. 1644-1693. 

Created Earl of Tarras for life, with liberty to bear the arms of Buccleuch, 1660, 

Negotiates with Lady Wemyss and petitions the King regarding the marriage-contract. 

Journal of his travels, 1667-1670 — Adventure with Neapolitan banditti, 

Remarkable letter from his father, Sir Gideon Scott, 1670, 

His efforts at Court unsuccessful — a curious calculation, 

Connection with the plot for exclusion of the Duke of York : his trial, 16S4-5, 

His second marriage with Helen Hepburn of Humbie, and descendants, 

VOL. I. &* 



Chapter Seventeenth — LADY ANNA SCOTT, Duchess of Buccleuch 
and Monmouth. 1651-1732. 

Her birth in Dundee : her early education and destiny, 

Correspondence between the King and Lady Werayss on her proposed marriage, 1661, 

The Countess of Buccleuch and Countess of Wemyss appear at Court, 1662, 

Arrangement of the Marriage-contract between Monmouth and Countess Anna, 1663. 

Creation of Duke of Monmouth and Earl of Doncaster, 1663, . 

Marriage of Countess with James Duke of Monmouth, 20th April 1663, 

James Duke of Monmouth created Duke of Buccleuch, 20th April 1663, 

Countess Anna created Duchess of Buccleuch in her own right, 1666, . 

Doubts as to validity of the Marriage-contract : Opinion of the Scottish Judges, 

Ratification of the contract by Act of Parliament, October 1663, 

Correspondence of the Duchess with the Earl of Wemyss for sixteen years, 

David Lord Elcho, her half-brother, " the bonniest little man," 

Letter of advice from Highchester as to the condition of her estates, 1671, 

Validity of the Ratification doubted : reduction of the Marriage-contract, 

King Charles the Second's kindness to the Duchess, 

Festivities at Court, and the influence of the Duchess, . 

Her residence at Audleyend in autumn 1676 : Pepys' description, 

Visit to Mary Princess of Orange in Holland, along with the Duchess of York, 167S, 

Her dislike to, and quarrel with, the Earl of Tweeddale, 

Her confidence iu George, Earl of Melville, as manager of her estates, . 

Letters to Melville by the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch and Monmouth, 

Reduction of the Marriage-contract by the Court of Session, 1680, 

Earl of Melville appointed commissioner of the Buccleuch estates, 1678, 

Monmouth captain-general of the forces sent against the Covenanters, 1679, 

His rivalry with the Duke of York : his popularity and exile, 

Influence of the Duchess on his conduct : Marmoutiere in Drydeu's " Duke of Guise," 

Death of King Charles the Second, and the invasion of Monmouth, 1685, 

Defeat of Monmouth at Sedgemoor : his capture and imprisonment in the Tower, 16S5 

Account of his interviews with the Duchess in the Tower, 

Farewell with his wife and children : his painful execution on Tower Hill, 1685, 

Monmouth's will : forfeiture by English Parliament and Scottish Court of Justiciary 

Resignation by the Duchess, and regrant of her honours and estate, 16S7, 

Marriage of the Duchess with Lord Cornwallis, 16S8, .... 

Regal state of Duchess : reduction of expenditure, . 

Provisions for her children — " I'll never light anybody down stairs in my own house 

Letter of condolence on the death of her nephew Lord Raith, 1698, 

Buccleuch Muniments saved by enei'gy of Lord Melville from destruction by fire, 1700. 

Visit of the Duchess to Scotland, and residence at Dalkeith Castle, 1701, 




Her aversion to capital punishment : saves Sir Walter Scott's great-grandfather, 

Estrangement from Lord Melville and the Earl of Leven, and litigation with them, 

Friendship and corrrespondence with George, first Earl of Cromartie, . 

Visit from her half-sister, Margaret, Countess of Wernyss, 1695, 

Marriage of the Countess of Wemyss with the Earl of Cromartie, 1700, 

House of the Duchess in Edinburgh, in the Lawnmarket, 

Alters and repairs the "Palace" of Dalkeith during her visit in 1701, 

Friendship with Lord R,oyston, son of the Earl of Cromartie, . 

Acquisition of the lordship of Melrose, the lands of Smeaton, and others, 

Resignation and Bond of Tailzie of the Earldom of Buccleuch, 1714-15, 

Will of the Duchess : her death in London and burial at Dalkeith, 




JAMES Earl of Dalkeith, K.T., 1674-1705. 

His birth, and service in Flanders during the reign of King William III., 
The Earl of Dalkeith proclaimed King at the Cross of Sanquhar, 1692, 
His marriage with Lady Henrietta Hyde, and Duchess Anna's satisfaction, 

FRANCIS second Duke of Buccleuch, K.T., 1695-17 

Projected marriage with Lady Jane Douglas of Douglas, 

Marriage with Lady Jane Douglas of Queensberry, 

Titles of Eai'l of Doncaster and Baron Tindall restored, March 1743, . 

Assists in the defence of Edinburgh against the Pretender in 1745, 





. 4S5 

. 4S5 

. 4S6 

. 4S6 

FRANCIS Earl of Dalkeith, 1721-1750. 

His education, and marriage with Lady Caroline Campbell, 
Degree of D. C.L. conferred on him by University of Cambridge, 


' HENRY third Duke of Buccleuch and fifth Duke of 
Queensberry, K.G., 1746-1812. 

Education at Eton, and subsequent travels with Adam Smith, . 

His marriage with Lady Elizabeth Montagu, and settlement on his estates in Scotland 

Ode on his birthday by Dr. Alexander Carlyle of Inveresk, 

Beauty of Duchess Elizabeth described by Carlyle and King Louis Philippe, . 

Duke Henry's literary tastes : The Poker Club in Edinburgh, . 

His kindness to the poor — poem by Henry Scott Riddell, 

Letter by the Duke on Chatham's illness in the House of Lords, 1778, 

The Auti-Catholic Riots in Edinburgh in 177S, .... 




CHARLES WILLIAM HENRY, fourth Duke of Buccleuch 
and sixth Duke of Queensberry, K.T., 1772-1819. 

His eduoatioD at Eton, election to House of Commons, and marriage, . 

Sir Walter Scott's description of the Duke as a landlord, 

" Laj' of the Last Minstrel " written at the suggestion of Duchess Harriet, 

Patronage of the Ettrick Shepherd by the Duke and Duchess, . 

Duke Charles's letter to Scott on the poet laureateship, 

Illness and death of the Duke : Sir Walter Scott's intimacy with the Duke, 






Elected Member of Parliament for the county of Roxburgh, 1832, 

His marriage, his early retirement from political life, and death at Cawston, . 


WALTER FRANCIS, fifth Duke of Buccleuch and seventh 
Duke of Queensberry, K.G., 1806. 

His birth, and education at Eton and Cambridge, 1S06-1S27, .... 513 

Visit of King George the Fourth to Scotland, and residence at Dalkeith House, 1822, 514 

The Duke takes his seat in the House of Lords : banquet at Dumfries in 182S, . 516 

Banquet at Branxholm by the tenants, 1S39 : the Duke's conception of his duties, . 519 

Visit of Her Majesty Queen Victoria to Dalkeith House, September 1842, . . 521 

Public works of the Duke : the construction of Granton harbour, . . . 523 

Parliamentary labours— Lord Privy Seal from 1842 to 1S46, . .. . . 523 

His promotion of Art and Science, and literary honours, .... 524 

Jubilee banquet given to his Grace at Edinburgh, 7th May 1878, . . . 524 


rpHE object of the present work is to set forth the ancient and more 
important Muniments of the Scotts of Buccleuch, and also to record 
the personal history of the successive generations of the family as Barons, 
Earls, and Dukes of Buccleuch, from the earliest known ancestor down 
to Anna, Duchess of Buccleuch and Monmouth, who died in the year 1732. 
This has been done in two volumes ; the Memoirs composing the first 
volume, and the Muniments the second. A Memoir of each of the succes- 
sive inheritors of the Buccleuch domains and dignities is given with as much 
fulness and detail as existing evidence affords. Owing to the scantiness 
of materials bearing on the earlier generations of the family, those of the 
thirteenth century, the history during that period is necessarily brief. But 
in the fourteenth century the charter evidence becomes more abundant, and 
from that time the Memoirs are more ample and exhaustive down to the 
death of Anna, Duchess of Buccleuch and Monmouth. The notices of her 
descendants and successors are written with less detail. 

This work relates almost exclusively to the Scotts of Buccleuch and their 
special Muniments. No part of it treats of the properties that belong to the 
Duke of Buccleuch in England, and only a very few of the charters printed 

VOL. I. c 

xviii OBJECT OF THE WORK. [introduction. 

have reference to the estates of Queensberry. The Dukes of Queensberry, 
now represented by the Duke of Buccleuch, and their Muniments, will form 
the subject of a separate work. The Muniments of the lordship of Melrose 
were printed in two quarto volumes in the year 1839, and presented by the 
Duke of Buccleuch to the members of the Bannatyne Club. 

The numerous lands, baronies, and castles now belonging to the Duke of 
Buccleuch would of themselves form the subjects of interesting histories. But 
this wide field cannot be entered on in the present work, which, embracing the 
Memoirs and the Muniments alone, has grown to two large quarto volumes. 


It is often difficult to trace the remote ancestors of our great historical 
houses. In the absence of authentic documents, ingenious writers have 
sometimes supplied the want by tradition or invention. "When there was a 
want of evidence regarding the founder of a distinguished house, or when a 
link was wanting in the chain of descent from him, bards and senachies 
seldom hesitated to invent a founder and supply a link. Successive writers 
have perpetuated these inventions until they have eventually been received 
as genuine history. 

When some remarkable man has, by brilliant exploits or otherwise, 
suddenly raised himself above his fellows and become the " Rudolph of his 
race," his descendants have usually been content to rest in him as their 
common ancestor. But in those cases where the rise of the family has 
been more gradual, the difficulty of finding a distinguished man as the 
founder of the house has been sometimes obviated by inventing one. Fre- 
quently family historians, not being content to confine him to the soil on 
which his descendants have flourished, have asserted a foreign origin, and 
Scandinavia, Hungary, Ireland, and even the Isle of Man have been made 
to yield their kings and princes to fill the place of genuine ancestors. 

Modern research has, in many cases, cleared away the fables that sur- 
rounded the origin of our historical families. But in the absence of contem- 

introduction.] SIR WALTER SCOTT'S "LAY." xix 

porary records, or of the works of annalists based on documents and tradi- 
tions no longer extant, much has still to be left in the old obscurity. The 
ancient and historical house of Buccleuch can, by genuine documents, be 
traced back in unbroken line for at least six centuries, and is found at that 
remote period in possession of part of the extensive lands which it now holds, 
but beyond that time it becomes involved in the obscurity incident to the 
history of that early age. 

The Scotts of Buccleuch, like several of the other families, received their 
alliterative appellation. The " Doughty Douglases," the " Gallant Grahams," 
the " Gay Gordons," the " Light Lindsays," and the " Bold Buccleuchs," indi- 
cate the popular characteristics of these particular families. The Memoirs 
of the successive Barons of Buccleuch will show that their distinctive epithet 
was appropriately bestowed. 


No comprehensive history of the family of Scott has yet been written. 
The " Lay of the Last Minstrel," by the greatest dramatic genius of his age 
and the most illustrious member of the clan in the domain of literature, 
contains many beautiful allusions to individual members of the family, and 
many incidents in their history are portrayed in that poem by the hand of a 
master. But it is not, and, indeed, does not profess to be an exhaustive 
history of the house. " The conception of the fable," as it has been called, was 
to describe a particular incident in the history of the Scotts of Buccleuch, 
that arose out of the unhappy feud between them and the Kerrs in the 
sixteenth century. 1 Sir Walter Scott edited, in the year 1815, " The Memorie 

1 The original MS. of the " Lay " is not by the ' Edinburgh Review' in their notice of 

known to be preserved. A copy of the first the Poem. But my friend Mr. Constable 

edition of 1805, containing corrections by the would not hear of the proposed abridgment, 

author for the second edition, is in the Royal and so the antiquarian matter was retained. 

Library at Windsor. On the fly-leaf Sir — W. S., 15th June 1821." On the fly-leaf of 

Walter has written : " This copy was pre- a copy of the original edition at Abbotsford 

pared for the second edition upon the prin- is written, "Mrs. Scott, from her affectionate 

ciple of abbreviating the notes, recommended son the author." 

xx SATO HELLS' HISTORY OF THE SCOTT S. [introduction. 

of the Somervilles," which was written by James, eleventh Lord Somerville. 
He also edited " Memorials of the Haliburtons," in 1820, a thin quarto of 
sixty-seven pages, to which a supplement was added four years later. 
Lockhart says that Sir Walter Scott " delighted above all other books in 
such as approximated to the character of good family histories." It is to be 
regretted that one who had a taste for such subjects, and who was the most 
ready and graceful writer of his age, did not devote his wide knowledge and 
literary power to a history of his own family in a more comprehensive and 
elaborate form than the poetic " Lay " and the tabular pedigree of the Scotts, 
which he compiled with his own hand while yet a young man. Had Sir 
Walter Scott investigated the history of the Scott family, and adorned their 
annals with all that wealth of genius which he has thrown around other 
subjects, an interest would have been given to the family of Scott which no 
other hand can hope to impart. 


Previous to the time of Sir Walter Scott, another member of the clan" 
with the same name, wrote a metrical history of the Scotts. This history 
was published in the year 1688, and was written by Captain Walter Scott 
of Satchells, as he is usually designated from his being the son of the Laird 
of Satchells, in the county of Roxburgh. His work is entitled, " A true 
History of several Noble Families of the right honourable name of Scot in 
the shires of Roxburgh and Selkirk, and others adjacent, gathered out of 
ancient Chronicles, Histories, and Traditions of our Fathers." A facsimile 
of the title-page is here produced. The author of the " True History" was 
born in the year 1613. He appears to have been the son of Robert Scott of 
Satchells, a cadet of Scott of Sinton, who received from John Archbishop of 
Glasgow a charter of the lands of " Satscheillis," in the barony of Lilliesleaf 
and shire of Roxburgh, which narrates that Robert Scott and his prede- 
cessors had possessed the heritage beyond the memory of man. The charter 

introduction.] SATCHELLS' HISTORY OF THE SC0TT8. xxi 

is dated 10th February 1607, and was confirmed by a Crown charter under 
the Great Seal, on 14th December 1609. 1 Eobert Scott of " Satscheillis" 
also received a Crown charter under the Great Seal, 24th November 1609, 
of the lands of Dodbank, in the shire of Selkirk, occupied by him and 
the late James Scott, his father, and others their predecessors, as old and 
native rentallers and tenants thereof. 2 Eobert Scott was one of the pen- 
sioners of the house of Buccleuch, and he had Southinrig for his service. 
The property of Satchells now forms part of the estate of Sinton. The house 
of Satchells was called the White Peel, because it was whitewashed, ISTo 
part of it now remains. 

The family estate of Satchells was so far reduced when his father suc- 
ceeded to it that young Walter had to be kept at home to herd the few 
cattle that still remained ; but a pastoral life was not congenial to him, and, 
as he himself says, he " gave them the short cut and left the kine in the 
corn." He joined the expedition to Holland in the year 1629, where he 
served in the regiment raised by his chief, Walter, second Lord Scott and first 
Earl of Buccleuch. When seventy-three years of age, Satchells composed 
the " True History" of the family of Scot, in which he describes himself as — 

" An old soldier and no scholar, 
And one that can write nane 
But just the letters of his name," 3 

— a circumstance that lends peculiar interest to the annexed facsimile of 
his unique signature. 

This signature is taken from the original record of an act of cautionry by 

1 B,eg. Mag. Sig., Lib. xlvi. No. 124. clench. It -was printed at Edinburgh in 

Th\i "W 117 1688. A second edition appeared in 1776, 

and a third edition was printed at Hawick in 
3 His book is dedicated to John, Lord the year 1786. The edition of 1776 is the 
Yester, grandson of Walter, Earl of Buc- one quoted in this work. 

xxii SATC HELLS' HISTORY OF THE SCOTTS. [introduction. 

him on 12th of September 1654, for Eobert Scott, son to umquhile Peter 
Scott in Gowdhome. 1 

Satchells, while admitting his want of scholarship, does not acknowledge 
it to be any disqualification for the work of an historian, and, indeed, he 
criticises several historians with much freedom when their opinions differ 
from his own. His industry enabled him to collect many facts that came 
within his own knowledge, and his record of these is valuable. But his 
history of the origin and early generations of the Scott family is to be taken 
with the utmost caution. According to him, the founder of the house of the 
Scotts of Buccleuch came from Galloway, in the reign of King Kenneth the 
Third, in the tenth century. The tradition which Satchells relates is said to 
have been received by him while serving as a soldier. Having occasion to 
pass to the English side of the Border he became acquainted with a gentle- 
man named Lancelot Scot, who showed him a book said to have been written 
by Michael Scott, called the Wizard, and informed him that it 

" Was never yet read through 
Nor never will, for no man dare it do." 2 

Satchells himself could not read, so that he had to depend upon his 
informant, who related to him the contents of manuscript histories concerning 
the origin of the Scotts : 

" But to proceed he wearied not 
To shew the original of the Border Scot. 
He said that book did let him understand, 
How the Scots of Buckcleugh gain'd both name and land." 3 

This history of the origin of the Scotts, written by Michael Scott of 
Balwearie in the thirteenth century, as stated by Satchells, would be an 
interesting and valuable addition to historical literature, were it known to 
exist. But there is no other reference to such a work, and Satchells may 

1 Records of Sheriff-Court at Jedburgh. 

2 True History, p. 34. For a brief notice of Sir Michael Scott, see p. xxxiv. of the Intro- 
duction. 3 Ibid. p. 35. 


have introduced the name of Michael Scott to give weight and authority to 
the narrative. A more learned family historian than Satchells had recourse to 
a reference to an anonymous manuscript in order to prove the origin of another 
great Scottish family. Mr. David Hume of Godscroft, in his History of the 
Houses of Douglas and Angus, claims for the Douglas family an antiquity as 
distant as the time of Solvathius, King of Scotland, about the year 767, when, 
he says, the founder of that family performed a notable exploit which gained 
the favour of the king, who bestowed upon the hero the name of Sholto 
Douglas. Godscroft adds that his narrative is confirmed by " a certain manu- 
script of great antiquity, extant in our days, in the hands of one Alexander 
Macduffe of Tillysaul, who dwelt at Moore alehouse near Strathboguie." ' 

The keeper of a public record might be the custodier of a manuscript 
that would throw light on the early history of the great House of Douglas, 
but the notion of the humble keeper of a public-house in the wilds of Strath- 
bogie possessing the principal manuscript to prove the origin of the Douglas 
family, is really too absurd to be gravely set forth by an author of consider- 
able learning in his history of that great house. 


The seventeenth century, in which Godscroft and Satchells wrote their 
respective histories of the families of Douglas and Scott, was a bad era for 
family histories. It was not till the following century that a better spirit 
awoke in authors, prompting them to discard the fabulous. In the middle 
of last century the Honourable Harry Maule of Kelly, third son of George, 
second Earl of Panmure, an accomplished historical antiquary, was one of 
the first to point out and dissipate the fictions of previous writers. He 
collected materials for the history of his own House of Panmure, and in this 
work he states — " I have read over a good many histories and genealogies of 
families in Scotland, some in manuscript, others printed, and have examined 
1 Hume of Godscroft's History, edition of 1044, p. 4. 

xxiv FABULOUS FAMILY HISTORIES. [introduction. 

and compared some of them with what I found in the public Eecords and in 
the Chartularies of our Bishopricks and Abbeys, and found many of them 
stuffed and filled with fables, falsehoods, and errours, and written to flatter 
the persons now concerned, and so become to doubt of everything contained 
in them I" 1 In another part of his work, Mr. Harry Maule refers to the 
fabulous origin of several families of Scotland, and to Hector Boece's History, 
and the History of the Family of Douglas by Godscroft, which he specially 
reprobates as full of fables. 2 

The worthless style of writing family histories so common in the six- 
teenth and seventeenth centuries was crowned by Sir Thomas Urquhart of 
Cromartie, in his " True Pedigree and Lineal Descent of the most ancient 
and honourable Family of the Urquharts in the House of Cromartie, from 
the creation of the world until the year of God 1652." Sir Thomas Urquhart 
traces his descent from Adam, without a single break in the long chain, begin- 
ning with the year of the world, being the year 1, and having Adam as the 
first of the " series," down to Sir Thomas himself, who is called the one 
hundred and fifty-second of the "series" from Adam. When questioned 
about the accuracy of his published pedigree, he was wont to remark, that 
the present age would mock that genealogy, the succeeding age would doubt 
it, and the third would be heavily inclined to believe it. 3 

But although the seventeenth century was prominent for such histories, 
the fabulous seems to have been made use of from the earliest ages in 
accounting for the origin of British families. A ridiculous origin has been 
ascribed to the great House of Percy in England, like its Douglas rival in 
Scotland, by the story that King Malcolm the Third (Canmore), at the siege 
of Alnwick in the year 1093, was attacked by one of the besieged soldiers and 

1 Registrum de Panmure, vol. i. pp. i, ii. Tower of London, and went abroad. It is 

2 Ibid. p. lxxiii. related by the conthuiator of his genealogy 

3 After the Battle of Worcester, where he that he died there suddenly in a fit of excessive 
fought for the King and was taken prisoner, laughter on being informed by his servant 
Sir Thomas Urquhart escaped from the that the king was restored. 


mortally pierced with his spear. The soldier received the name of Pierce-eye 
or Percy, because he had pierced the eye of Malcolm. The story had too 
much of the marvellous to be omitted by Hector Boece, who improves it in 
picturesqueness by the more precise statement that the soldier pierced the 
left eye of King Malcolm. 1 He appears to have been unaware that the 
surname of Percy was in use previous to the incident at Alnwick. 

The alleged origin of the family of Forbes also affords a good specimen of 
inventions respecting the founders of families. When King Edward took the 
castle of Urquhart, he murdered every person in it except the wife of Alexander 
Bois, the lord of the castle. She was pregnant at the time, and the English 
had a religious scruple against killing a child before its birth. The child so 
preserved, in due time proved a boy, and having slain a mighty bear that 
infested the country, he received the appellation of For-beast, which after- 
wards came to be pronounced Forbes. 

Martin in his genealogical collections relates that one Salvathius Forbes 
married Moravilla, daughter of Gregory the Great, King of Scotland, about 
870, and that all the Forbeses in Scotland are descended from him. But 
Nisbet says that Achonacher, an Irishman of quality, slew a monstrous wild 
boar and from that event took the name of Forbear, and that he was the ancestor 
of the family of Forbes. There is a confusion here of boars and bears which 
we, following a remark of Lord Hailes, shall not pretend to unravel. 2 


The substance of the tradition related by Satchells, as to the origin of 
the Scotts of Buccleuch, is that two gentlemen of Galloway, as the result of 
a feud, had to leave their native country, and finding their way to Rankil- 
burn, in the royal forest of Ettrick, were hospitably entertained by the 
keeper of the forest, named Brydon. Finding the two young men accom- 

1 Annals of Scotland, by Lord Hailes, edi- 2 Annals of Scotland, by Lord Hailes, vol. i. 

tion of 1797, vol. i. p. 27. p. 342. 

VOL. I. d 

xxvi JOHN OF GALLOWAY AND THE BUCK. [introduction. 

plished in the art of forestry, the ranger retained them in his service. King 
Kenneth the Third was hunting one day in Ettrick forest with the nobles of 
his Court, when one of the young Grallowegians, observing the buck passing 
by Cacra Cross hard pressed by the hounds, eagerly followed the chase. At 
the Eankilburn the stag was brought to bay and turned on the hounds, when 
one of the young Gallowegians rushing in, seized the buck by the horns. 

" Alive he cast him on his back, 
Or any man came there, 
And to the Cacra-Cross did trot, 
Against the hill a mile or mair." 1 

King Kenneth was so pleased with the exploit that, causing the young 
man to be brought before him, he inquired his name and country, and 
appointed him Eanger of the Forest of Ettrick, at that time an honour- 
able and important office. He was further rewarded with the gift of the 
lands of Buccleuch : — 

" And for the buck thou stoutly brought, 
To us up that steep heugh, 
Thy designation ever shall 

Be John Scot in Buckscleugh." 2 

John Scot then informed the King that he had with him a brother named 

" Ye are very well met, then, said the King ; 
He shall be English and ye are Scot, 
At Bellanden let him remain, 
Fast by the Forrest side." 3 

The romantic story of Satchells has passed into a popular Border tale, 

1 True History, p. 37- kingdom of the Picts about the year of grace 

2 Ibid. 839, and joined the kingdom of Picts into the 

3 True History, p. 38. Satchells, in his ancient nation of Scotland." King Kenneth 
"little prose" account of the early Kings of the Third, he says, was son to Malcolm the 
Scotland, narrates that "Kenneth the Second, First, "a brave king and a good justiciar." — 
King of Scots, called the Great, conquered the True History, pp. 29, 31. 

introduction.] TRADITION OF THE BUCK A MYTH. xxvii 

and the encounter with the buck by John of Galloway is held as an article 
of belief by many persons of the name of Scott. Imitating the fashion of the 
age in which he wrote, and yielding to the popular craving for a romantic 
founder to a great house, Satchells, like a true senachie, knowing the tradi- 
tion that the Scotts of Scotstoun originally came from Galloway, made it 
apply to the acquisition of the lands of Buccleuch and Bellenden by the 
exploit of the killing of the buck. Ignorant of charter evidence, and incap- 
able of reading and weighing legal evidence bearing on the true origin of 
the Scott family, Satchells overlooks the genuine Scotts of the twelfth 
century, including " Uchtked Filius Scot " in the time of King David the 
First, of whom he appears never to have heard, and whom he never men- 
tions. But he dwells upon John ScQt and Walter English, the two alleged 
Galloway brothers in the time of King Kenneth, who are nowhere heard 
of but in the legendary pages of the historian himself. For at least two 
centuries subsequent to the time of King Kenneth the Third, the lands of 
Buccleuch had not become the property of the family of Scott, and the lands 
of Bellenden were acquired by the Scotts of Buccleuch only in the year 1415. 
This appears from the evidence quoted in the first chapter of the Memoirs, 
which shows the acquisition of Buccleuch by Bichard Scott, the first Lord 
of Bankilburn, before the year 1296, and the evidence in the fifth chapter, 
which proves the acquisition by Bobert Scott, fifth Lord of Bankilburn, of 
the lands of Bellenden in the year 1415. The designation of Scott of 
Buccleuch did not begin to be used by the family until centuries after the 
time alleged by Satchells. 

The wild buck of Satchells, turning at bay against the hounds of King 
Kenneth in the Buck Cleugh, recalls the not dissimilar scene said to have 
been enacted in the forest at Holyrood by the wild hart which pursued good 
King David the First and " dang " hina and his horse to the ground, when 
he was saved from the fury of the hart by the miraculous intervention of 
the Holy Cross, which " skid" in the King's hands as he was seizing the 
horns of the hart. The King, it is said, in gratitude for his deliverance, 

xxviii THE MACKENZIE BUCK. [ix\teoduction. 

founded the Abbey of Holyrood. On this legendary foundation Lord Hailes 
remarks, that it has not even the merit of antiquity, for it appears to be a 
fiction more recent than the days of Boece. 1 

Among the many traditional stories in which an exploit with a buck 
figures, that which relates to the origin of the Mackenzies is probably the 
most consistent with fact. It is told by Lord Cromartie in his History of 
the Mackenzies : — " About the time of the granting of the charter of King 
Alexander, at Kincardine-on-the-Dee, the King was hunting in the forest of 
Mar. A hart pursued his Majesty, and would probably have injured him if 
Colin Fitzgerald had not killed the animal with an arrow. For which cause 
the King granted to Colin a deer or hart's head puissant, bleeding from a 
wound in the forehead, for his coat armour, supported by two greyhounds ; 
the head in a field azure, which all descending from him have ever since 
carried." 2 The " caberfae" or stag's head was borne on the arms of the 
Mackenzies at an early date, and it is found on the most ancient of their seals. 

But the encounters of heroic ancestors were not confined to Bucks. The 
Somerville Serpent is a good instance of the marvellous traditions of the 
seventeenth century. In the " Memorie of the Somervilles," written by James, 
the eleventh Lord of that name, in the year 1679, the author gives a very cir- 
cumstantial account of his ancestor, John Somerville, killing a great serpent in 
the time of King William the Lion, a deed that made his fortune and enabled 
him to found the family. He was king's falconer. The "hydeous monster" 
is represented as having been three Scots yards in length, and somewhat 
thicker than an ordinary man's leg, with a head more proportionable to its 
length than greatness. In form and colour it was like a common muir-adder. 
Its den was in the side of a hill more than a mile south-east of Linton 
Church, in the county of Boxburgh. It sallied forth and devoured all sort of 
bestial, and was the terror of the county, which it made desolate. John 
Somerville had the temerity to encounter, and the prowess to overcome, the 
monster by means of a fire-wheel at the top of his lance. He put spurs to 

1 Annala, vol. i. p. 109. 2 The Earls of Cromartie, vol. i. p. xvii. 

introduction.] THE SOMERVILLE SERPENT. xxix 

his horse, the fire still increasing, thrust the wheel and almost the third 
part of his lance directly in the serpent's mouth, "which went doune 
her throat into her bellie, which he left there, the lance breaking by 
the rebound of his horse, giveing her a deadly wound, who in the pangs of 
death (some part of her body being within the den), soe great was her strenth 
that she raised up the whole ground that was above her, and overturned the 
same to the furthering of her ruin, being partly smothered by the weight 
thereof." 1 The author of the "Memorie" complains that the tradition of 
this story has been omitted by the writers of history. But he makes up for 
the omission in this instance, and in others, as Sir Walter Scott says, by 
" such prolixity as has seldom been equalled." 2 The Somerville history was 
written only two years before the publication of Satchells' True History ; and 
it was edited by Sir Walter Scott in the year 1815. In a note to the story 
as related by Lord Somerville, Sir Walter contradicts it by the evidence of an 
ancient sculptured stone in Linton Church, where a knight on horseback is 
represented charging his lance down the throat of a large four-footed animal, 
probably a boar or a wolf, but which in no point resembles a serpent. The 
tradition is thus contradicted by the very evidence which was founded on to 
prove it. The story, indeed, seems only an echo of the ancient myth of the 
Boar of Erymanthus. 

Allusion has been already made to Sir Walter Scott's delight in good 
family histories. Mr. Lockhart has given the following graphic account 
of Sir Walter's satisfaction on receiving a presentation of a copy of the 
original edition of Satchells' History : — 

" His family well remember the delight which he expressed on receiving, 
in 1818, a copy of this first edition, a small dark quarto of 1688, from his 
friend Constable. He was breakfasting when the present was delivered, and 
said, ' This is indeed the resurrection of an old ally. I mind spelling these 
lines.' He read aloud the jingling epistle to his own great-great- 
grandfather, which like the rest concludes with a broad hint that, as the 
1 Memorie of the Somervilles, vol. i. p. 44. 2 The Preface. 


author had neither lands nor flocks, ' do estate left except his designation,' 
the more fortunate kinsman who enjoyed, like Jason of old, a fair share of 
fleeces, might do worse than bestow on him some of King James's broad pieces. 
On rising from table, Sir Walter immediately wrote as follows on the blank 
leaf opposite to poor Satchells' honest title-page — 

" I, Walter Scott of Abbotsford, a poor scholar, no soldier, but a soldier's lover, 
In the style of my namesake and kinsman do hereby discover, 
That I have written the twenty-four letters twenty-four million times over ; 
And to every true-born Scott I do wish as many golden pieces, 
As ever were hairs in Jason's and Medea's golden fleeces." 

The rarity of the original edition of Satchells is such that the copy now 
at Abbotsford was the only one Mr. Constable had ever seen. 1 A perfect copy 
of the original edition of Satchells is in the library of Bowhill, and another 
in the library of Dalkeith House, where a third copy has also recently been 
found, wanting the title-page and a few leaves at the beginning. 

In the year 1830, Sir Walter Scott presented to the late Mr. Pringle of 
Whytbank a copy of the second edition of 1776, with this inscription on the 
fly-leaf :— 

" The gift of Walter Scott to his hereditary friend Alexander Pringle, 
Esquire of Whitebank. 

"Abbotsford, 14th March 1830." 

Along with the book Sir Walter also wrote the following letter : — 

My dear Alexander, — I am the enviable possessor of the edition princeps 
of my namesake Satchells, so I am enabled to beg your acceptance of the reprint 
of 1776, which is now scarce, and indispensable to your studies. I am very much 
obliged to you for the remarks on my ancestor, which I wish you would one day 

I have an old ballad about the Scotts of Whitslade about the middle of the 
seventeenth century, and in the hand of the period. It was printed in Hawick 
Museum by Caw : — 

1 Lookhart's Life of Scott, vol. i. pp. 63, 64. 



Of feveral Honourable Families of the 

Right Honourable NAME of 


In the Shires of %pxburgh and Sell^ir^ and 

others adjacent. 

Gathered out of Ancient Chronicles, Hifto- 
ries, and Traditions of our Fathers. 


An old Souldier, and no Scholier, 

And one that can Write nane, 
But jufi the Letters of his J^ame. 

Edinburgh, Printed by the Heir of Andrew Anderfon, Printer to 
His raoft Sacred Majefff, City and Colledge, 1688. 

iA*~) i*al t- 


Bold brethren three of hie degre, 

The first of Mars's train, 
And two of them for loyalty 

Into the field were slain. 
At York's great fight, Longmarston hight, 

Squire William lost his life ; 
And good Squire Walter, he was kild 

At Innerkeithen in Fife. 
At that great route, Thomas was stout, 

Being youngest of the three ; 
To the effusion of his blood 

He fought for 's Majestie. 

The poem is an elegy on the said Squire Thomas. I can let you have a copy 
if you please. — Always faithfully yours, Walter Scott. 


Sir Walter Scott of Abbotsford, himself a cadet of the Scotts of Raeburn, 
who were cadets of the Scotts ofSinton and Harden, wrote, with his own hand, 
a tabular pedigree of the family of Scott of Buccleuch, including the branches 
of Sinton, Harden, Raeburn, and Scottstarvit. The pedigree was compiled 
by Sir Walter, when a young man, for his chief, Hugh Scott of Harden, after- 
wards Lord Polwarth, and that holograph original is now a valued heirloom in 
the family of Harden. Sir Walter Scott was, by his own confession, unskilled 
as an artist, and is represented as quite incapable of making any drawing. 
But in the right-hand corner of his large Scott pedigree there is a fair 
representation by him of the armorial bearings of the Scotts of Harden in their 
proper colours. The pedigree measures three feet by four and a half feet, and 
is too large for insertion here in a complete form, but it is printed in another 
part of this work, in sections separately tracing the main line of Buccleuch 
and the branches of Sinton, Harden, Raeburn, and Scottstarvit. It is interest- 
ing as the apprentice handiwork of the illustrious author. The basis of his 

xxxii SIS WALTER'S PEDIGREE OF THE SCOTTS. [introduction. 

pedigree of the Scotts of Buccleuch during the first four generations seems to 
have been the genealogy given by Sir Robert Douglas in his Peerage of Scot- 
land, who had apparently adopted it from Walter Macfarlane of Macfarlane. Sir 
Walter, however, made considerable additions under each name, as will appear 
from the following excerpt from his pedigree of the first four generations : — 


Or Filius Scott, who flourish'd at the Court of King David I., and was witness to two 
charters granted by him to the Abbeys of Holyroodhouse and Selkirk, dated in the years 
1128 and 1130. It is, however, believed that from the days of Kenneth in., the barony of 
Scotstoun, in Peebles Shire, had been possess'd by the ancestors of this Uchtred, who being 
descended from Galwegian forefathers were call'd Scots, Galloway being then inhabited by the 
clan to whom that name properly belonged. See Pinkerton on Scottish Antiquities, and Innes 
on the Ancient Inhabitants of Scotland. 

Richard Scott, 
Who witness'd a charter granted by the Bishop of St. Andrews to the Abbey of Holyrood- 
house about the year 1158. He had two sons. 

I. Richard, II. Sir Michael, 

Who married Alicia, daughter of Henry de Molla, Who acquired property in Fife, and 

with whom he received lands in Roxburghshire, from whom the Scotts of Balweary 

in the reign of Alexander the lid. and Ancram are descended. 



Who attended the Court of Alexander lid., and is witness among other nobles 

to several of his charters. 

A facsimile of the first six generations in the original pedigree is here given. 
This genealogical tree expands upward, while in the printed copy of the whole, 
given in this work, it has been printed in the usual form of pedigrees. 

A pedigree thus arranged by an illustrious member of the family of Scott 
who possessed a great love for family history, is certainly entitled to respectful 
consideration, and we have endeavoured to test its accuracy by references 
to contemporary charters and other incontestable evidence. The investiga- 
tions produced the following results as to the first four generations : — 


~zzzr~ ^ 

Uc'ktrtd, r\t% Scott 


Mii UcUhv* , Mr£o July cUicjM-d^ fcirm- (jeM* -■ 

CffuvJ • 

introduction.] UCHTRED FILIUS SCOTT, 1116. 


Uchtred, the son of Scot, lived in the reigns of King Alexander the First and 
King David the First (1106-1153). Of his ancestors there is no certain infor- 
mation, but the tradition exists that they were of Gallowegian origin, and the 
circumstance that Uchtred was a Galloway name tends to corroborate it. He 
is named in many documents Uchtred Filius Scot, probably to distinguish 
him from others of the name of Uchtred, which was then not uncommon. 1 

Uchtred Filius Scot was one of the witnesses to an inquest in the year 
1116, made by order of David, Prince of Cumbria, afterwards King David 
the First, with regard to the foundation of the church at Glasgow, the 
episcopal seat of the district of Cumbria. 2 The inquest was held either at 
Traquair or Kirkurd. The Scotts were proprietors of Kirkurd along with 
Scotstoun from a very early period, and the present representative of the 
Scotts of Buccleuch is still the owner of Kirkurd. " Vchtredus filius Scott" 
was also a witness to the foundation charter of the Monastery of Selkirk, 
granted by Earl David between 1119 and 1124. The charter describes lands 
in Selkirk and other parts of Scotland, and also in the earldom of Huntingdon. 3 


The second name in the pedigree by Sir Walter Scott is that of Eichard, 
son of Uchtred Filius Scot. Eichard is represented as a witness to a charter 
by Eobert, Bishop of Saint Andrews, to the Abbey of Holyrood, confirming the 
grant by King David the First. The original charter is not known to exist. 


Eichard Scott, or Eichard of Molle, is placed third in the pedigree. He 
is stated to have married Alicia of Molle, in the county of Eoxburgh. She 

1 The people of Galloway were sometimes bial even in our days. Annals of Scotland, 

distinguished by the name of Scots ; thus the edition of 1797, vol. i. p. 316, Note, 
wild Scot of Galloway is an expression to be ' Registrum Glasguensis, vol. i. p. 7. 

found in ancient instruments, and is prover- ■> Liber de Calchou, torn. i. p. 4. 

VOL. I. 6 

xxxiv RICHARD SCOTT OF MOLLE, 1190. [introduction. 

was probably a daughter of Anselm of Molle, who possessed extensive lands 
in that territory, as the lands inherited by her were close to those of 
Matilda, the daughter of Anselm ; and as Eichard Scott is designated son of 
Anselm in various charters, about the year 1190, of lands granted by the 
latter in favour of the monastery of Kelso. 1 The name of Eichard Scott 
appears in many other charters, among others, as a witness to a charter, 
granted about the year 1190, by Eschina de Lundoniis, for the souls of her 
" lords" — Walter the Steward and Henry of Molle — in favour of the Abbey 
of Kelso, 2 and also to various other charters granted by different persons to 
the Abbeys of Kelso and Melrose. 3 

Aliz, wife of Eichard Scott de Molle, granted to the monks of Kelso a 
portion of her land (mee terre) in the territory of Molle, extending to about 
eight acres and a rood of arable land. A charter of this same land in the 
vicinity of Lathladde, was granted at this same time (circa 1190) by Eichard 
Scott himself ; and also a confirmation of his grant by Eichard de Lincoln, 
who had married Matilda, a daughter of Anselm, and settled down into pos- 
session of part of the estate of Molle. 4 One other Scott appears during this 
period among the fortunate owners of land in the territory of Molle. About 
the year 1220, Ailrner Scott de Molle, and Christian his wife, a daughter of 
Isolda — daughter and co-heiress of Anselm of Molle — conferred on the abbey 
of Kelso an oxgate of land in Molle, which the parents of Christian had 
formerly granted. This Ailmer Scott was, beyond question, a near kinsman 
of Eichard Scott ; if his son, then Christian was a cousin-german of Ailmer 
Scott. The land given to the abbey is said to hie beside the land of Eichard 
Scott, who would appear to have been alive at the time of the grant by Ailmer 
Scott of Molle. 5 We may here remark that it is by no means improbable 

1 Liber de Calchou, torn. i. p. 17, et saepe. family occupies so much space in the cartulary 

2 Ibid. p. 114. of Kelso as does this great family, which was 

3 Ibid. torn. i. p. 135, and Munimenta de allied to other noble and even princely houses, 
Melrose, torn. i. pp. 131, 132, 154. The de- among others to the Stewards, the Scotts, and 
signation " de Molle" was used by several the Avenels. * Ibid. pp. 131, 132, 136. 
persons who were contemporaneous ; and no 5 Ibid. pp. 37, 38. 



^1 •-•<=£- <-§. 


I -f ^ 


9 $v 





5 , • «t ■ 

- — I MHPV 




that the baptismal name of Walter, favourite and famous in the family of 
Scott, was derived from their connection with the noble house of Steward. 

During the reigns of King William the Lion and his immediate successors, 
the name of Scotus occurs in many documents. Gilbertus Scoth is witness 
to a charter, between 1165 and 1177, by Eschina of Molle, wife of Walter 
the Steward, founder of the Abbey of Paisley, whereby she granted to the 
prior and monks of Paisley, a carucate of land in the territory of Molle. 1 

The origin of the Scotts of Balwearie and Ancrum has been attributed by 
Sir Walter Scott and the genealogists on whom he depended, to Michael 
Scott, an alleged brother of Eichard Scott of Molle. It is to this Fifeshire 
family that Michael Scott, the wizard, belonged ; a man of whom enough is 
known to indicate that he was at once an ardent philosopher and a trusted 
courtier and diplomatist. He was among those sent from Scotland to bring 
home from Norway the infant Princess Margaret, in 1290 ; 2 he appears, with 
Michael de Wemyss, probably his kinsman, among the magnates appointed 
to form the Court of Auditors for the adjudication of the Crown of Scotland, 
at Norham, on the 5th of June 1291 ; 3 and Dominns Michael Scot — Fyf 
appears in a roll of 100 magnates who performed homage to King Edward 
the First of England. 4 We have accompanied this notice with a portrait of 
the ancient wizard of Balwearie, taken from a quaint picture in the Bodleian 
Library at Oxford, and with the lithograph of a charter of Balwearie by King 
William the Lion. 5 


The son and successor of Eichard Scott of Molle is said to have been 
William Scott, and Sir James Dalrymple also regards him as the predecessor 
of the Scotts of Murthockston and Buccleuch. 6 His name appears as a 

1 Registrum Monasterii de Passelet, p. 75. 4 Palgrave's Documents, etc., of Scotland, 

2 Rymer's Foedera, vol. ii. p. 1090. p. 194. 

3 Palgrave's Documents, etc., of Scotland, 
: Illustrations," p. vi. 

5 Printed in the Appendix of Charters, vol. ii. 
Dalrymple's Historical Collections, p. 412. 

xxxvi TRADITIONS ON SCOTSTOUN. [introduction. 

witness to a charter by Walter, grandson of Walter the Steward of Scotland, 
between 1207 and 1214, granting to the Convent of Syxle an annualrent of 
three merks. William Scott is also a witness to charters by Walter the 
Steward to the Abbot and Convent of Paisley, of the churches of Dundonald, 
Sanquhar, and Auchinleck, 1 and of a charter by Thomas, Prior of Coldingham, 
to Piobert Brun. 2 


Although this pedigree of the first four generations of the Scotts is pro- 
bably correct, there is no strictly legal evidence of the succession of one 
generation to another from Uchtred the first to William the fourth. For that 
reason, and from a scrupulous desire to rest the history of the Scotts of 
Buccleuch on strictly legal evidence, we have preferred to commence the 
connected history of the family with Eichard Scott in the latter half of the 
thirteenth century, who was beyond doubt the first Lord of Eankilburn 
and Buccleuch, in the shire of Selkirk, and whose grandson Eobert, fifth 
Lord of Eankilburn, inherited Scotstoun, in the shire of Peebles, from 
ancestors whose history is beyond the era of existing evidence. 

Sir Walter Scott, agreeing with his namesake Satchells as to the native 
origin of the family, states that Uchtred was descended from Gallowegian 
forefathers, who were called Scots, Galloway being then inhabited by 
that race. 

There is another point on which Sir Walter Scott is found in harmony 
with Satchells, and that, as will afterwards be seen, is of importance in 
deciding the origin of the Scotts of Buccleuch. Sir Walter states that it is 
believed that from the clays of King Kenneth the Third, Scotstoun had been 

1 Registrum Monasterii de Passelet, pp. executed in the reign of King Alexander the 
19, S7, 225, 401, 402. Second. 

- The charter is without date, but was 

introduction.] OATHS OF FEALTY BY SCOTTS. xxxvii 

possessed by the ancestors of Uchtred. Satchells relates it as the tradition 
of his time, that the Scotts of Bucclench were descended from the Lairds of 
Scotstoun, who had their residence at Scotstoun before Eichard Scott went to 
Murthockston on his marriage with the heiress of that estate. In his account 
of the various residences of the family, he says of Scotstoun Hall : — 

" It was called Scotstoun Hall when Buccleuch in it did dwell, 
Unto this time it is called Scotstoun still. . . . 
There 's three towers in it was mounted high, 
And each of them had their own entry. 
A sally door did enter on, 
Which served all three and no man ken'd 
When Buckcleugh at Scotshall kept his house." 

In the district of Scotstoun and Kirkurd, the traditions recorded by 
Satchells and Sir Walter Scott are still quite distinct. The tenants of the 
Duke of Buccleuch on his Kirkurd property, who, with their ancestors, 
have been on the farms for five centuries without any written leases, relate 
that the Scott family were very early occupiers of Scotstoun and Kirkurd. 


The oaths of fealty by the Barons of Scotland to King Edward the First 
in the year 1296, throw light on the Scott family of that period. Walter le 
Scott swore fealty in 1296 for his lands in the county of Peebles. 1 These 
lands were probably Scotstoun and Kirkurd, which are the oldest known 
inheritance of the Scotts of Buccleuch, and still form part of the family 

1 Ragman Rolls, p. 144. Among the men of the twelfth or in the beginning of the 
of the shire of Roxburgh who submitted to thirteenth century, Adam le Scott held lands 
Edward in 1296, is Willelmus Scot. — (Pal- in the parish of Linton, which adjoins Kirk- 
grave, Documents, etc., p. 1S3.) In the end urd. — (Regist. Glasg., p. 12S.) 

xxxviii OATHS OF FEALTY BY SCOTTS. [introduction'. 

It is the same "Walter Scott, we presume, or his father of the same name, 
who along with Sir William de Douglas, Mark de Baliol, and three others, 
became a "fidejussor" or guarantee for the payment by Sir Walter de Moray 
of nine merks and a hundred shillings for the support of a chaplain at 
Osbernistoun, and of another at Glasgow. The agreement was made at 
Ancrum in the spring of 1253. 1 

Richard le Scott of Murthockston swore fealty to King Edward the First 
on the -28th of August 1296, and the Sheriff of Selkirk was ordered, on the 
5th of September thereafter, to restore him to his lands, which were in the 
King's hands. It is shown in the memoir of Eichard le Scott, that these 
lands must have been Eankilburn, including Buccleuch, as no other lands 
in the county of Selkirk belonged to the Scotts in the thirteenth century. 

Walter le Scott and Eichard le Scott, who both made fealty as owners of 
lands in Peebles and Selkirk shires respectively, may have been brothers- 
german. Walter le Scott apparently was the elder brother ; and Eichard, the 
younger, acquired Murthockston by marriage, and also Eankilburn, with the 
office of Eanger of Ettrick Forest. 


The surname of Scot or Scott, which is obviously derived from the nation- 
ality of those who bore it, is certainly of high antiquity, but it is difficult 
to determine at what time it became fixed in one or more families. There 
are cases in which the name of " Scotus " is used in charters, and a different 
territorial designation afterwards adopted as a family surname. A charter, 
for instance, was granted by King William the Lion between the years 
1165-1214 of the lands of Allardyce, in the county of Kincardine. The 
grantee in the charter is named " Walterus Scotus," and it has been con- 
jectured that the name of Scot was abandoned, the more definite one of 

1 Reg. Glasg., vol. i. pp. 162-4. 

introduction.] ORIGIN OF THE SURNAME OF SCOTT. xxxix 

Allardyce being adopted by his successors from the lands in their possession. 1 
The father of this Walterus Scotus bore the same name as his son, and appears 
frequently in the Cartulary of Arbroath during the reign of King William. 
He must have been a man of some importance, as he is always presented 
either as a witness or as a " perambulator " of marches, in the company of 
men of high rank ; indeed, in a charter by Eichard de Friuill, of a piece of 
land by the stream of Bervie to the Abbey of Arbroath, granted about 1180, 
he takes place as a noble witness in the company of the King, David the 
King's brother, and Williani the son of Frisian, head of the house of Moray. 
He was actively connected for many years with the Abbey of Arbroath, then 
newly founded by King William, chiefly in supervising the allotment of lands 
gifted by the wealthier landowners of the Mearns. It would be rash to say that 
his descendants, one and all, adopted the name of Allardyce, as this fact points 
the other way, — that in one of the Arbroath charters he is not designated by 
the indefinite adjectival surname of Scotus, but as Walterus Scott, as if the 
appellation had then become a recognised and fixed surname. 2 

The appellation, however, was borne in those early times by persons of 
princely rank. David Earl of Huntingdon, brother of King William the Lion, 
had a son who bore the title of Earl of Huntingdon and the name of John Scot. 
On the 30th of May 1223, this prince of the blood was, along with many 
other nobles, invested with the dignity of knighthood in the Castle of Rox- 
burgh, by his cousin, King Alexander the Second ; and on the death of his 
grandfather, Eanulf Earl of Chester, in 1232, he succeeded to this other honour 
and power. A few years before his elevation to the latter dignity he had 
married a daughter of Llewellyn King of Wales, who died in the year 1249. 3 

Another striking example of the wide use of the " cognomentum " of Scot 
is found in one of the charters of the Abbey of Melrose, where the appella- 
tion is assumed by Thomas de Colevill, a man of considerable note in the 

1 Sir James Dalrymple's Historical Collections, p. 411. 

2 Reg. Vet. de Aberbrothoc, p. 61. Cf. pp. 62, 63, 61, 99, 64, 65, 5. 

3 Chronica de Mailros, pp. 141, 143, 150. 

xl THOMAS DE COLLE VILLA SCOTT. [introduction. 

reign of King William the Lion. His name occurs in many charters of that 
date, but nowhere again with the designation he has taken to himself in the 
one we have mentioned. Under the name of " Thomas de Colevilla cognomento 
Scot," he grants the land of Keresban, on the Doon in Ayrshire, to the Abbey of 
Vaudey in Lincolnshire. The witnesses to the charter bear names of alarming 
Celtic uncouthness, and it is scarcely to be wondered at that in the year 1223 
the convent of Vaudey found it dangerous to possess property in a district 
subject to such commotions as were then frequent in Galloway, and parted 
with the gift of Thomas de Colevill to the Abbey of Melrose. Thomas had 
died before this alienation, as he is there spoken of as " of happy memory." 
How he had obtained the name we can only conjecture, but it is far from 
being improbable that he had accompanied William the Lion in his unfor- 
tunate expedition into England, and had lingered there during the royal 
captivity, because he afterwards constantly appears as an attendant on the 
Court of William. A facsimile of the beautiful charter of Colevill Scott is 
here given, and an engraving of the finely-finished seal, containing a classic 
head, which contrasts artistically with the rude designs of contemporary 
Scottish art, is subjoined. The border bears the inscription — " Sigill. thome 


One person who bore the name of Scott played an important part in Scot- 
tish history in the twelfth century, his election to the see of St. Andrews 
having been the cause of the quarrel that led to the* excommunication of 


I - i 

*i *J J, ^ X? i s — -* s - ** 



King William the Lion by Pope Alexander the Third, and a brief account 
may be given of the circumstances that caused the rupture between the 
Scottish monarch and the Court of Eome. 

John Scott, Bishop of Dunkeld, named in the year 1200 by the English 
historians "Joannes Scotus or Scotsman," 1 is said by Lord Hailes to have 
been a native of Cheshire, but probably of Scottish parentage ; his mother 
was the sister of Matthew Kynynmount, Bishop of Aberdeen. He was 
elected Bishop of St. Andrews by the Chapter, but the King, who had 
destined the see to his chaplain Hugh, heard the news of the election with 
great indignation, and swore " By the arm of Saint James, while I live, 
John Scot shall never be Bishop of St. Andrews." He commanded the 
clergy to consecrate Hugh, and he put him in possession of the revenues 
of the diocese. John Scott having appealed to Eome, the Pope annulled the 
appointment of Hugh, and ordered his legate to hear and decide the dispute. 
Judgment was given in favour of John Scott, who was then consecrated, but 
immediately afterwards the King banished him from the kingdom. The 
diocese of St. Andrews was then laid under interdict, and Hugh was excom- 
municated, but the King would not move from his purpose. Authority was 
at last delegated by the Pope to Eoger, Archbishop of York, and Hugh, 
Bishop of Durham, empowering them to excommunicate the King, who 
continued inflexible. Attempts were made to mediate between the opposing 
powers, but in vain. William banished from the kingdom all who yielded 
obedience to the bishop-elect. The Pope then wrote directly to the King, 
threatening that if his mandate were not obeyed, and John Scott installed 
within twenty days in the see of St. Andrews, the sentence of excommunica- 
tion would be carried out and the kingdom placed under interdict. These 
threats were of no avail to move the stubborn will of William ; accordingly 
the sentence of excommunication was pronounced, and the whole kingdom of 
Scotland laid under interdict. The curious spectacle was now presented of 
William, who had been compelled during his captivity to submit ignominiously 
1 Keith's Scottish Bishops, p. 76 ; Chron. de Mailros, pp. 88, 90, 91. 

VOL. I. / 

xlii COUNTRY OF THE SGOTTS. [introduction. 

at Falaise to be the liegeman of Henry the Second, and to deliver up for a time 
the independence of his country in order to procure his liberty, resisting to the 
utmost the same Pope before whom Henry had bowed in abject submission. 
At this juncture Pope Alexander died, and his successor, Pope Lucius, 
adopting a conciliatory policy, despatched emissaries to Scotland to negotiate. 
A compromise was eventually effected, and both rivals having withdrawn 
their claims to the Bishopric of St. Andrews, Hugh was appointed to that 
see, while John Scott was made Bishop of Dunkeld. Pope Lucius sent the 
golden rose to King William the Lion, as a mark of his favour and friendship. 


The cradle of the Scotts of Buccleuch was not at Buccleuch, in the 
county of Selkirk, but at Scotstoun and Kirkurd, in the county of Peebles. 
Clear evidence of their residence there at an early period is afforded by their 
having used the Holy Cross Kirk at Peebles as a burial-place. Satchells, 
after describing Scotstoun Hall, remarks that when Scott of Buccleuch made 
that mansion his place of residence — 

" Then Peebles Church was his burial-place : 
In the Cross Kirk there has buried been 
Of the Lairds of Buccleuch, either six or seven ; 
There can none say but it 's two hunder year 
Since any of them was buried there." 1 

Exactly two hundred years before Satchells wrote these lines, David Scott of 
Buccleuch, who died at Eankilburn in 1492, left instructions in his will that 
his body should be buried in the Church of the Holy Cross at Peebles ; so 
that, long after the Scotts had ceased to live at Scotstoun, there was a desire 
to be buried with their ancestors, a circumstance which confirms the statement 
of Satchells that the Cross Kirk of Peebles had been the burial-place of the 

1 Satchells' True History, p. 44. 

introduction.] BURIAL-PLACES OF THE SCOTTS. xliii 

family for several generations. That was their earliest known burial-place, 
and we have no record as to the remains of any member of the family having 
been interred there after the death of David Scott in 1492. It was disused 
when the family removed to other residences from their ancient home at 
Scotstoun. While this was their principal mansion, they used the Church 
of the Holy Cross ; but afterwards, when they resided chiefly at Buccleuch, 
the Church of Eankilburn became their burial-place, and Satchells records that 

" My guid-sir Satchells, I heard him declare, 
There was nine Lairds of Buckcleugh buried there." 1 

On acquiring Branxholni, the Church of St Mary at Hawick became their 
place of sepulture, as their new mansion was situated in that parish ; and when 
the barony of Dalkeith was purchased by Francis, second Earl of Buccleuch, 
and the Castle of Dalkeith was made one of the principal residences of 
the Buccleuch family, the Church of Dalkeith became, as it has since con- 
tinued to be, their principal place of burial. 

Buccleuch and Murthockston were acquired subsequently to the posses- 
sions in the county of Peebles, although at very early dates. Afterwards 
the proper country of the Scotts was that which lay between the rivers' 
Teviot and Yarrow. On the Ale Water, above Biddell, the centre of their 
domain in Ettrick, and on Borthwick Water, the land was chiefly owned 
by them, and they had also the greater part of Upper Teviotdale, on the 
north of the Teviot, with several possessions on the Yarrow and a footing in 
Eskdalemoor. By the expulsion of the Maxwells from Eskdale and of the 
Beatties from Ewsdale, the Scotts acquired many lands in these two districts, 
and on the forfeiture of Erancis Stuart, Earl of Bothwell, they came into 
possession of wide domains in Liddesdale. 

The great family of Avenel appear in the twelfth century as the principal 
owners of Eskdale. Prior to the year 1174, Robert Avenel confirmed to the 
monks of Melrose his land of " Eschedale," including Tumloher and Weid- 

1 True History, p. 41. 

xliv OLD MANOR HOUSE OF BUCCLEUGH. [introduction. 

kerroc, " Esche " being the way in which the two streams of Esk are spelt in 
the ancient charter. This charter is one of unusual interest, not so much 
from the completeness with which the boundaries are marked out, although 
that is quite important, as from the peculiar rights of hunting reserved by 
the donor for himself and his heirs. These lands had been previously 
bestowed by Avenel on the Abbey during the reign of King Malcolm the 
Maiden, but it was only prudent that on the accession of King William a 
gift of so great value should be confirmed both by the original owner and by 
the sovereign. Of the series of charters of Eskdale executed in favour of the 
monks of Melrose, we here present two beautiful specimens in facsimile, the 
one being a renunciation by Eobert Avenel, and Gervase Avenel his son, of 
the four merks which the Abbey had been accustomed to render for their 
Eskdale lands, and the other a confirmation by King William of the land of 
Eskdale, given to the Abbey by the munificence of the Avenels. 

It is a remarkable fact that, while the Scotts were proprietors of Bankil- 
burn, the family of Inglis were owners of Branxholm. Scott and Inglis 
subsequently exchanged Murdieston and Branxholm, and about the same 
time there existed, not far from Inglis and Scott of Branxholm, Ireland of 
that Ilk, in the barony of Wilton and shire of Boxburgh ; — properties within 
a short distance of each other thus representing, in the names of their respec- 
tive owners, the three national names of Scotland, England, and Ireland. 

The Glen of the Bankilburn from its head to its junction with the river 
Ettrick at Cacrabank is about seven miles in length. The burn takes its 
rise in a loch on the farm of Bopeslawshiel, now in the parish of Ettrick, and 
the Wolfcleugh Head is situated a short way to the east of the loch out of 
which the Bankilburn rises. The Glen is a wild hilly district, having cleughs 
or ravines on each side. In former times it had many more inhabitants than 
now. Along the banks of the burn the foundations of houses can still be 
traced in many places. The portion of the Glen which was above the Church 


of Buccleuch or Kankilburn had been much more thickly peopled than 
the lower portion. Within the recollection of persons still living, thirteen 
cottars' houses were inhabited about a quarter of a mile to the west of Old 
Eankilburn or Buccleuch Manor-house. These cottages were situated on the 
small burn that runs into the Eankilburn from the west, and on the farm 
of Wester Buccleuch. 

The site of the former Manor-house of Eankilburn or Buccleuch is very 
appropriate for a residence. The old mansion stood on a rising ground at 
the junction of the Eankilburn and the Buccleuch burn. To the north and 
south of the site, on either side of the burn, are haughs or level grounds for 
meadow hay. These are surrounded on every side by high sloping green 
hills. Part of the present farm-house of Easter Buccleuch, which was built 
about the year 1832, and particularly the west end, stands on the site of the 
foundations of the old mansion. These foundations were extensive, and 
were trenched out to enlarge the garden in front of the present farm-house 
of Easter Buccleuch. 

The farm of Wester Buccleuch is situated on the south-west bank of the 
Eankilburn. It contains about one thousand four hundred acres of good 
pastoral land for sheep, but there is only one acre under corn crop. 

The farm of Easter Buccleuch lies on the north-east side of the Eankil- 
burn, and on this farm the original Buccleuch — a small cleugh — is situated. 
The farm of Easter Buccleuch includes the lands known as Gair and 
Eopeslawshiel, as appears from an old plan of the lands in Ettrick Forest, 
which belonged to Anna, Duchess of Buccleuch. 

In the will of Sir Walter Scott of Buccleuch, made on the 18th of 
November 1574, there is entered as part of his personal estate six two-year 
old stots pasturing upon the lands of Buccleuch, price of each forty shillings ; 
and also eighteen score and fifteen hoggs pasturing upon Buccleuch, estimated 
at £10 the score. 

The burn which runs down the Buccleuch is called the Clearburn, and 
has its rise in the Clearburn loch, near the outshiel of Deloraine. 


The Buck Cleugh is a deep ravine down which the Clearburn, or the 
Euccleuch burn, as it is sometimes called, flows into the Eankilburn. At 
the spot where one tradition says the buck was caught, the cleugh is about 
one hundred feet deep. The banks are very bald, the red earth appearing 
without any verdure. The ravine of the Buccleuch is about half a mile long, 
and the burn flows for about a mile. 

Near the head of the cleugh there are evident traces of a mill-lade, which 
ran for about a quarter of a mile from east to west, from a place called the 
" mill dam " to another point at a fall above the site of the old mill, on a 
small corner of land in a bend of the Buccleuch burn. The ground reputed to 
have been the site of the mill has still every appearance of containing the 
foundations of buildings. Many sheltered places on the adjoining hills show 
that they had at one time been cultivated for corn crops, and there were tilled 
fields not far from the mill. The Clear Loch would always supply water 
even in the drought of summer. 

A little bleak hill or law bounds the Buccleuch on the south side, and 
there is a large bleak law adjoining the smaller one on the south. 

The church and churchyard of Eankilburn or Buccleuch were situated at 
the confluence of the Eankilburn and the Kirkburn, being on the west side 
of the former and on the south side of the latter. The church was situated 
about five miles from the river Ettrick, and was quite close to the two 
burns, and surrounded by the churchyard. On one occasion, in recent times, 
the Eankilburn washed away the banks below the church, and many human 
bones were exposed till the banks were covered. No interments now take 
place in the churchyard. On the east side of the Eankilburn, about a quarter 
of a mile further up, is the Eriestburn, and opposite the church is the Kirkhill. 
The tradition in the district is that the Scotts of Buccleuch were buried in 
the churchyard of Eankilburn, and that the last Scott buried there lies within 
three yards of the east door of the church. Thirty years ago the foundations 
of the church could be distinctly traced, but they are no longer visible. 

Satchells relates that in the year 155G Walter Scott, called the good Lord 

introduction.] SCOTT AND HOGG AT BUCCLEUCH KIRK. xlvii 

of Buckcleugh, was curious to see the tombstones of his ancestors in the 
kirk in the forest of Bankilburn. The most part of the wall was then stand- 
ing ; the font-stone was within the kirk, and a cross before the door. The 
rubbish and earth being cleared away, the stones were swept clean, and the 
Lord of Buckcleugh and many of his friends came to see them. They found 
one stone that had the ancient coat-of-arms upon it — two crests 1 and a mullet 
borne on a counter-scarf, with a hunting-horn in the field, supported with a 
hart of grace and a hart of leice, alias a hound and a buck, and a buck's head 
torn from the crest. On some of the stones there was a representation, 
taken to be a hand and sword, while others of them had a sword and a lance 
all along the stone. 2 

In the summer of the year 1801, Sir Walter Scott paid a visit to the 
Ettrick Shepherd, and on that occasion the two poets set out together, along 
with three other persons, to explore the ground where these interesting relics 
had been discovered by the "good Lord of Buccleuch." The result of the 
search has been narrated by Hogg with some liveliness and humour : — " We 
found no remains of either tower or fortalice, save an old chapel and church- 
yard, and a mill and mill-dam, where corn never grew, but where, as old 
Satchells very appropriately says, 

' Had heather-bells been corn of the best, 
The Buccleuch mill would have had a noble grist.' 

. . . Besides having been mentioned by Satchells, there was a remaining 
tradition in the country that there was a font- stone of blue marble, out of 
which the ancient heirs of Buccleuch were baptised, covered up among the 
ruins of the old church. Mr. Scott was curious to see if we could discover 
it ; but on going among the ruins we found the rubbish at the spot, where 
the altar was known to have been, dug out to the foundation, we knew not 
by whom, but no font had been found. As there appeared to have been a 
kind of recess in the eastern gable, we fell a-turning over some loose stones, 
1 Crescents. 2 Satchells' True History, pp. 42, 43. 

xlviii TRUE ORIGIN OF NAME BUGCLEUCH. [introduction. 

to see if the font was not concealed there, when we came to one-half of a 
small pot, encrusted thick with rust. Mr. Scott's eye brightened, and he 
swore it was an ancient consecrated helmet. Laidlaw, however, scratching 
it minutely out, found it covered with a layer of pitch inside, and then said, 
' Ay, the truth is, sir, it is neither mair nor less than a piece of a tar pat that 
some o' the farmers hae been buisting their sheep out o' i' the auld kirk lang- 
syne.' Sir Walter's shaggy eyebrows dipped deep over his eyes, and sup- 
pressing a smile, he turned and strode away as fast as he could, saying that 
we had just ridden all the way to see that there was nothing to he seen." 1 


In a wild mountainous region like Eankilburn, cleughs or ravines 
abound. Cleugh, the Anglo-Saxon dough, means a fissure or opening in a 
height, a glen or valley, narrowed by close and steep acclivities on either 
side. Cleugh occurs as a compound in thirty-two names of places in 
Selkirkshire. 2 Buck is prefixed from the connection of the cleugh with the 
amusement of the chase, so common in Ettrick Forest and on the lands 
adjoining. Other names of similar import, and similarly derived, were given 
to other lands in the same district, such as Wolfcleugh, Doecleugh, Harecleugh, 
Boarhope, Catleeburn, Catheugh, Todhaugh, Brockholes, and Harewood. 

Wolves appear to have been common in the north of England as well as 
in the south of Scotland. Prudhoe Castle, now the property of the Percys, 
was granted by William the Conqueror to Eobert with the Beard, an 
ancestor of the Umfravilles, to be held for the service of defending that dis- 
trict from wolves and the King's enemies, with the sword which the King- 
wore at his side when he entered Northumberland, and which he bestowed 
on Robert. 

The origin of names of places in Selkirkshire is in many instances readily 
accounted for by tradition and the peculiar features of the scenery ; and the 
1 Hogg's Memoir of his own Life. 2 Caledonia, vol. ii. Part II. pp. 966, 971. 

introduction.] ET TRICK FOREST. xlix 

name of Buckcleugh may have been applied to the ravine in Rankilburn 
from the deep cleugh being the resort of bucks, even before Ettrick was 
erected into a royal forest by King Alexander the Second. 

Earl David, when he founded the Abbey of Selkirk, before the year 1124, 
gave to the monks the land of Selkirk, with the tenth of the skins of the 
harts and the hinds which his hounds should take in the forest. 

When King Edward the First obtained sovereign power over the forest of 
Ettrick in 1291, he made liberal grants of the beasts and timber to his sup- 
porters. The King ordered Simon Fraser, then keeper of the forest, to 
deliver to William Fraser, Bishop of St. Andrews, thirty harts ; to the Bishop 
of Glasgow, twenty harts ; and to many others he also gave liberal supplies of 
harts, as appears from his Precepts in the Rotuli Scotice. 

Lindsay of Pitscottie records that King James the Fifth, in one of the 
huntings in Ettrick Forest, slew eighteen score of harts. 

In the old song of the outlaw Murray, we have a description of the 
Forest : — 

" Ettrick Forest is a fair forest, 
In it grows many a semelie trie ; 
The hart, the hynd, the doe, the roe, 
And of a' beastes great plentie." 

According to the tradition of the district, the " semelie " trees of Ettrick 
Forest were in early times so thickly planted, that a person could have 
walked from the head of Ettrick to within four miles of Selkirk, in a clear 
sunny day, without ever seeing the sun. The Forest of Ettrick was first given 
to a subject when King Eobert the Bruce rewarded his steady supporter Sir 
James Douglas with a grant of it about the year 1322. The Douglas family 
were lords of Ettrick Forest till their forfeiture in 1455, when it was annexed 
to the Crown and became once more a hunting ground of the Scottish 
sovereigns. 1 

1 The Forest was granted to Margaret, Queen of King James the Fourth, as part of her 

VOL. I. (J 



Like the charter- chests of other Border Houses, those of Buccleuch 
have suffered many vicissitudes. Although there is no special account 
of the destruction of the early Scott charters, we cannot doubt that valuable 
portions of them were lost by fires and the other calamities incident to Border 
warfare, while the remaining muniments have narrowly escaped final loss. 

The manor-house of Buccleuch, with the whole of its contents, was 
wilfully burned in the year 1494; the Castle of Branxholm was burned by 
the Earl of Northumberland in 1532, and Newark Castle by Lord Gray in 
the year 1550. The walls of Branxholm were shattered by the army of the 
Earl of Sussex in 1570. 

Seven years later, in September 1577, there was prepared by Mr. Thomas 
Weston, advocate, " Ane Inventare of Walter Scot of Branxholme's evidentis. 
"With the takis, titillis, and rychtis of all his heritaigis, bayth auld and new, 
takis, stedingis, rowmes, and possessiounes quhatsumevir." This title is com- 
prehensive, but the inventory itself is unfortunately disappointing, although 
it does contain descriptions of charters that are now lost. It is obvious that 
the more ancient documents had previously been lost, as there must have 
been earlier writs of the lands of Scotstoun and Kirkurd, Rankilburn and 
Buccleuch, than those specified in the inventory of Mr. Thomas Weston. 

During the minority of Francis, Earl of Buccleuch, " a great charter- 
chest with iron work" was made for his Lordship's charters, at a cost of £200 
(Scots), as appears from the receipt of John Scott, wright, burgess of Edin- 
burgh, dated penult March 1639. 1 

During the civil war in the seventeenth century, the writs were removed 
for security to the fortress on the Bass Bock, where they remained till the 
year 1652, when they were taken to Sheriffhall House — Dalkeith Castle 
being then occupied by the English Commissioners. 

On the marriage of Lady Margaret Leslie, Dowager Countess of Buccleuch, 

1 Receipt in Buccleuch Charter-chest. 

inteoduction.] BURNING OF BUCCLEUCH WRITS, 1700. 

and the Earl of Wemyss, the charter- chests were placed in a chamber in 
Edinburgh, from which they had to be hastily removed on two occasions 
on account of fire. 

At the time of the insurrection in the west in 1666, when the insurgents 
marched on Edinburgh and were defeated in the fight at Bullion Green, and 
on account of the presence of a Dutch squadron in Leith Eoads, the charter- 
chests were placed for security in Edinburgh Castle. On being brought back 
to the town they were stored in a wooden building, but an extensive fire 
which happened about the year 1675, showed the necessity of removing 
them to a place of greater safety. A few years afterwards they were 
placed in the custody of the Earl of Wemyss and taken to Wemyss Castle 
in Fife, where they remained until after the death of the Earl in 1680, Avhen 
they were brought once more to Edinburgh. When the Parliament Close was 
rebuilt with stone, rooms were taken there for Mr. Scrymgeour, the General 
Eeceiver for the Buccleuch estates, and the writs were placed in his charge. 
Here they encountered their greatest danger. Fire broke out during the 
night in the year 1700, destroying the whole of the south and east sides of the 
Parliament Close, including Scrymgeour's house, and the writs narrowly 
escaped entire destruction. A contemporary writer describes "with what 
difficulty they were preserved — such as were preserved — the fire breaking 

out in the night, most people in bed, and a confusion in town. 


gathered together peapers and boxes that were in that great confusion 
scattered." They were removed to a place of temporary accommodation, 
but we are informed that once more "actually ane fyre fell out in the 
Luckenboothes just over against it." George, Earl of Melville, who was 
commissioner for the Buccleuch estates, and had taken lodgings in the same 
stair, strenuously exerted himself to save the muniments, and his hand and 
arm were so severely burnt, that he suffered for a long time afterwards. 
Writing to Lord Craighall, many years after the occurrence, he says, " I am 
obliged to make use of a borrowed hand when I can have it, wanting the use 
of mine oun for a long time." 


Until a safe place could be found in which to store them, the writs were a 
second time deposited in Edinburgh Castle. When the Castle of Dalkeith was 
reconstructed by the Duchess of Buccleuch, about the year 1703, a charter- 
room was formed of a part of the south-west side, at the top of the old castle, 
and in that room the Buccleuch muniments have been kept since that time. 

The custody of the charter- chests — which then contained only the writs 
of the lands — was so arranged during the time of the Duchess Anna, that no 
one of the tutors could obtain access to their contents. The keys of the two 
hanging locks were intrusted to the care of Sir John Scott of Scotstarvit ; 
and the keys of the chests having been placed in the shuttle of a cabinet in 
the chambers of Patrick Scott of Langshaw, the law-agent of the family, the 
key of the shuttle was then given to Sir William Scott of Harden. The 
commissioners having decided, in the year 1674, that the writs should be 
inspected and compared with the old inventory, issued instructions to that 
effect. A memorial was then presented to them, containing the result of the 
inspection ; and they resolved that a new inventory should be constructed, 
including all the new writs and patents of honour. That inventory was 
compiled in the year 1679, under the care of George, Earl of Melville, and 
it has ever since formed the working inventory in reference to the feudal 
muniments of the family. 

Separate inventories of letters and miscellaneous papers were made in the 
years 1690-1695, by Mr. David Scrymgeour. These describe a large number 
of letters from Lady Margaret Leslie, Countess of Wemyss, — one bundle alone 
containing one hundred and sixty letters,— and many from Lord and Lady 
Melville. The inventory shows that there had also existed letters from 
Lords Stair, Dalhousie, Stormonth, Nithsdale, Wemyss, Carnwath, Dundee 
(Graham of Claverhouse), Cathcart, Tarras, Semple, Cardross, Tweeddale, 
Lauderdale, Annandale, and the Archbishop of Glasgow. These letters would 
have thrown light on many matters connected with the Buccleuch family, 
and with the stirring times of the Revolution ; and in particular the numerous 
letters from Lady Margaret Leslie must have contained many interesting 

introduction.]' SGOTSTOUN HALL IN TWEED DALE. liii 

details about her daughter the Duchess of Buccleuch and Monmouth, 
that would have made her Memoir more complete. Eepeated searches have 
from time to time been made in the Buccleuch Charter- room for these letters, 
but without success, and it seems probable that they were destroyed in the 
fire of 1700. There appears to have been only time to secure the more 
important documents contained in the charter-chests, and the greater number 
of letters and miscellaneous papers, which were in presses and cabinets, in 
all probability perished in the flames. 



The earliest known residence of the Scotts of Buccleuch was Scotstoun 
Hall, or Scotts Hall, in Peeblesshire. No vestige of this stronghold now 
exists, and no description has been preserved except the traditional account 
given by Walter Scott of Satchells, to which reference has already been made. 
He says : — 

" It was called Scotstoun Hall when Buccleuch in it did dwell. 

There 's three towers in it was mounted high, 
And each of them had their own entry." 

In the present mansion-house of Scotstoun, Tobias Smollett, the eminent 
novelist, while residing there with his sister, whose husband was the owner, 
made notes for his " Humphrey Clinker." One of the rooms is still called 
" Smollett's Study." 

Castle Craig, the residence of Sir William Henry Gibson Carmichael, 
is situated about two hundred yards to the south of the former house 
of Kirkurd, in the parish of that name. The site of the original mansion- 
house of Kirkurd is about a hundred yards from the second house of Kirkurd. 
It was possessed for a considerable period of time by the family of Geddes 
of Kirkurd and Eachan.. They acquired, in the year 1406, half the lands 


of Ledyurde, and on 18th February 1407 a charter of confirmation was 
granted to John of Geddes, by Robert Scott of Eankilburn as lord superior 
of the barony of Kirkurd. 


The mansion-house of Murthockston was situated in the barony of 
Bothwell and county of Lanark. The site of the ancient manor-place may 
have been where the modern building now stands, as the walls of the lower 
portion of the present mansion are very ancient and of great strength. 

The south, or back portion, had been originally a square tower of two 
stories, with arched vaults below. 


The manor-house of Buccleuch, which was situated on a rising ground at 
the junction of the Buccleuch and Bankil Burns, has already been described. 
Like other Border mansions, it did not escape the ravages incident to Border 
warfare. In the year 1494 it suffered considerable damage from a raid by 
Simon Boutlage in the Trowis, and Matthew his son and their accomplices, 
who, after removing the cattle, horses, and sheep, plundered the mansion and 
set it on fire. In the judicial proceedings against the invaders, it is called 
the place and manor of Bukcleuch. It continued to be the principal resi- 
dence of the Scotts until they acquired the barony of Branxholm. 

About the year 1832 the foundations of the ancient castle of Buccleuch 
were cleared out. An old spur, an old bridle-bit, and several other articles 
were found in the high mound that marked the site of the ancient manor. 
The stones of the house had been carried off from time to time to build houses 
for the farmers and shepherds of the neighbourhood. 






ixteoductiox.] BRANXHOLM HALL. 


This ancient castle is about three miles to the west of Hawick. It 
occupies a position of considerable strength on the steep bank of the Teviot, 
a hundred yards to the north of the river, and has a fine southern exposure. 
It originally consisted of a quadrangle or court, with a turret at each 
corner. The " Nebsy Tower " alone remains. Another of the towers 
was named " Tenty-fit Tower." About a mile and a half to the west of 
Branxholm there is a wooded hill, called the Castlehill. In the memory of 
persons still living, the castle of Branxholm and other two houses were the 
only dwellings above Hawick that were slated, all the others being thatched 
with straw. The lands of Branxholm formed part of the barony of Hawick, 
which was an ancient possession of the Douglases. One of the earliest notices 
of Branxholm is to be found in the reign of King Bobert the Bruce, when 
a portion of it, consisting of seven pounds and six pennies of the lands, was 
held by AValter Comyn, and about the same time the remainder was granted 
to Henry de Baliol. The lands were subsequently possessed by the family 
of Inglis, from whom they passed, by exchange for Murthockston, into the 
hands of the Scotts of Buccleuch, with whose name Branxholm Castle will 
always be closely associated. 

When Sir Walter Scott, in the year 1446, exchanged his lands of Mur- 
thockston, in Lanarkshire, for the remaining portion of Branxholm — his father 
having acquired half of these lands in the year 1420 — the Castle of Branxholm 
became his principal residence. From its situation so near the Border, 
Branxholm Castle frequently suffered from the inroads of the English. In 
the year 1532 the lands of Sir Walter Scott were devastated by the Earl of 
Northumberland, and the Castle burnt. Twenty years afterwards, during 
a raid of an extensive character conducted by Sir Balph Eure and Sir 
Brian Latoun, when the Buccleuch estates suffered severely, an attack was 
made on the Tower of Branxholm. The invaders burnt the Barmekyn — 


a strong enclosure near, or attached to, the Castle for the protection of 
cattle — and carried away an immense booty, including six hundred oxen and as 
many sheep. No mention is made of injury done to the Tower, but from the 
quantity of " insight gear" which the invaders are said to have carried away, 
it would seem that they had gained access to the interior. The Castle was 
again an object of attack by the English under the Earl of Sussex, in 1570. 
Buccleuch anticipated the threatened attack by setting fire to the Castle ; but 
this partial destruction did not satisfy the English commander, and the walls 
were by his orders blown asunder with gunpowder. The Castle is described 
by Lord Hunsdon, in a letter to Cecil, as " a very strong place, and well set, 
and very pleasant gardens and orchards about it." After its total demolition 
in 1570, the erection of a new castle was commenced on the same site in 
the succeeding year by the grandson of Sir Walter above mentioned, but he 
did not live to see its completion. The work, however, was continued by 
his widow, Lady Margaret Douglas, and was finished in the year 1576, two 
years after her husband's death. Two stones, bearing the arms of Buccleuch 
and Douglas, are still on the walls of the Castle, and they record the 
commencement and completion of the work by Sir Walter Scott and the 
Lady Margaret Douglas. No part of this building now remains except the 
old square tower of five stories, which is popularly called " Nebsy." To that 
tower has been added a long modern building of three stories. The under 
stories consist of the old arched vaults. Branxholm town is situated half a 
mile to the north of the Castle, and now consists of only four or five houses. 
The Chapelhill is also about half a mile to the north of the Castle : the 
churchyard is a large mound. The district of Branxholm was formerly closely 
wooded. The father of the late Mr. William Grieve, of Branxholm Park, 
whose family have been long connected with Branxholm, back even to the 
time of Lady Margaret Douglas, Lady Buccleuch in 1570, often told his son 
that a man could ride on a white horse a distance of four or five miles, from 
Todshawhaugh to the Castlehill, two miles above the new mill, without 
any person seeing the horse, because of the closeness of the foliage. 

introduction.] BLACK TOWER OF HAWICK. lvii 

Much of the wood was cut down by direction of Francis, second Duke of 
Buccleuch, who was reputed to have possessed the same habits of profuseness 
as his great-grandfather, King Charles the Second, and required the money 
derived from the sale of the timber. 

Sir Walter Scott makes the Minstrel place the scene of his Lay at 
Branxholm Tower, where— 

" Knight and page and household squire, 
Loiter'd through the lofty hall, 

Or crowded round the ample fire : 
The stag-hounds, weary with the chase, 

Lay stretch'd upon the rushy floor, 
And urged, in dreams, the forest race, 
From Teviot-stone to Eskdale-moor." 

The architectural portion of the title-page of this work is taken from a 
drawing of the principal door of the castle, with the quaint inscription which 
surmounts it. 


This tower is situated in the town of Hawick, and is now known as the 

Tower Hotel. It is a large square building, situated close by the river 

Slitrig, which is said to have been in former times drawn round the tower by 

a moat. It was the only house in Hawick that escaped the ravages of the 

Earl of Sussex in 1570. The tower was also called Drumlanrig Castle. 1 It 

was the ancient residence of the Douglases of Drumlanrig as Barons of 

Hawick, before they sold the barony to the Scotts of Buccleuch, after which 

the tower became the occasional residence of the latter family. Anna, 

Duchess of Buccleuch and Monmouth, when she visited Scotland, spent some 

time at the tower. Sir Walter Scott relates in the Border Antiquities that 

persons were then alive who remembered the state or elevated chair and canopy 

which the Duchess, who took the rank of a princess of the blood, was wont 

1 Statistical Account, vol. iii. p. 388. 
VOL. I. h 




to occupy on solemn occasions. It is further stated in the Antiquities that the 
Tower, having become the principal inn of Hawick, was of late years possessed 
by a lineal descendant of Johnie Armstrong of Gilnockie, who, instead of his 
ancestor's perilous marauding achievements, levied contributions upon the 
public in the humbler character of landlord of the Tower Hotel. 1 



This famous castle was founded by Walter Comyn, Earl of Monteith, 
about the year 1244. The dale of the Liddle was then the property of the 
English family of Soulis, who had possessed it from the time of King David 
the First. The history of the Soulis family is closely connected with 
Liddesdale till the time of King Eobert the Bruce, who, on the forfeiture of 
Soulis, granted Liddesdale to Sir John Graham of Abercorn. His heiress, 
Mary Graham, carried it to her husband, William Douglas, the Knight of 
Liddesdale. The subsequent history of Liddesdale and Hermitage is closely 
associated with the Douglas family, until it passed from them to the Earls of 
Bothwell in exchange for Bothwell on the Clyde. The Buccleuch family 
acquired Liddesdale and Hermitage after the forfeiture of the Earl of 
Bothwell, as fully explained in the Memoir of the first Lord Scott of 

Although the Castle of the Hermitage was never used by the Scotts of 
Buccleuch as a place of residence, it was frequently occupied by them in 
virtue of their office of governors of the castle and keepers of Liddesdale, of 
which territory it became the chief stronghold after Soulis Castle — the 
original fortalice of the Lords of Liddesdale — had been abandoned. The 
castle stands in a position of great natural strength on the banks of the 
Hermitage water, and it was further secured by a deep fosse, which enclosed 
it on the east, west, and north, and also by extensive earthworks. Sur- 
rounded by wild morasses and mountains, the grim towers, with their 

1 Border Antiquities, vol. i. p. 201. 









introduction.] HERMITAGE CASTLE. fix 

few and narrow windows, and their walls pierced with loop-holes, add 
additional gloom to the desolate and cheerless region in which they stand. 
The interior of the castle is now a complete ruin. The Scotts have been 
associated with the Hermitage and Liddesdale, as governors and proprietors, 
from the fifteenth century. In the year 1470, David Scott of Buccleuch 
received from Archibald, fifth Earl of Angus, a gift of the governorship of the 
Hermitage ; and his son David, who married a sister of the Earl, was after- 
wards appointed governor of the castle and keeper of Liddesdale. Subsequent 
barons of Buccleuch occasionally held the same office in conjunction with 
that of Warden of the Middle Marches, offices that demanded great energy 
and entailed harassing duties, as the district under their sway contained the 
most turbulent and irrepressible of the Borderers. On the forfeiture of 
Francis Stuart, Earl of Both well, in 1594, the lordship of Liddesdale, with 
Hermitage Castle, which he then held, was granted to the Duke of Lennox, 
from whom Sir Walter Scott, afterwards Lord Scott of Buccleuch, acquired it by 
purchase. It has since remained in the possession of the Buccleuch family. 


The Tower of Langholm or Langhope, now in ruins, probably dates from 
the early portion of the sixteenth century. Erom what now remains, it 
appears to have measured from east to west a little more than thirty feet, 
and from north to south fifty-six feet ; the walls being five feet and a half in 
thickness. Although not to be compared with the old Douglas stronghold of 
Hermitage, or even with the neighbouring castle of the Lindsays in Wauchope- 
dale, it was still a place of importance, as from its situation it commanded 
three Border passes, those by Eskdale-muir, Ewesdores, and Wauchope-dale. 
Traces of earthworks still exist in the neighbourhood of the Tower, and it has 
been conjectured that these were constructed during its occupation by the 
English in the protectorate of the Duke of Somerset, but of this there does 
not appear to exist any evidence. 

The Tower of Langholm, according to a tradition, was built by a brother 

Ix LANGHOLM TOWER. [introduction. 

of Johnie Armstrong of Gilnockie, and the name of this Border family fre- 
quently appears in the history of the fortress. The lands of Langholm were 
granted by Kobert Lord Maxwell to John Armstrong, on the 2d November 
1525, but were resigned to the granter on the 18th February 1528-9 ; and 
it was here that the Laird of Gilnockie reviewed his gallant troops before 
proceeding on his ill-starred expedition to Carlanrig in 1530. Near the 
Tower was the Turner-holm (Tournament-holm), which was perhaps the 
ground referred to in the ballad : — ■ 

" They ran their horse in the Langholme howm, 

And brak their spears wi' meikle main ; 
The ladies lukit frae their loft windows — 

God bring our men weel hame again ! " 

Johnie Armstrong, we are told, "keepit ye castell of Langhame," 1 and it 
is probable that this seat of the famous marauder was visited by King James 
the Fifth after the execution of the Armstrongs, as Lindsay of Pitscottie 
mentions the king's hunting at St. Marylaws, Carlanrig Chapel, Ewisdoores, 
and Langhope, although it must be borne in mind that there was also a 
forest of Langhope in the county of Selkirk. In October 1534, a broken gun 
was ordered to be brought from the Langholm to Edinburgh, for the purpose 
of being melted. 2 

The Tower was seized in 1544 by the Armstrongs of Liddesdale, who 
captured four prisoners, and carried away the furnishings. 3 After the fatal 
defeat of the Scots army at Solway Moss, Lord Maxwell, who had been cap- 
tured in that engagement, suffered a year's imprisonment in England ; and 
during his absence the Tower had been " tbiftuislie taken by a Scottis 
tratour" and handed over to the English. In 1546 the Estates demanded 
its restoration to the Scottish Queen, 4 and it was taken from the English in 
the following year. In April 1547 the garrison consisted of forty light horse- 
men, 5 but it would appear to have been reduced to the number of sixteen, 

1 Anderson's mss., Advocates' Library. 3 Letter of 27th October, Haynes' State Papers. 

2 Pitcairn, vol. i. Part I. p. 284. 4 Acts, vol. ii. p. 473. 

5 Letter from Thomas Lord Wharton to the Protector and Council, 7th April 1547. 

introduction.] LANGHOLM TOWER. lxi 

exclusive of the captain, at the time of its capture by the Scottish army 
towards the end of July. A gallant and prudent defence was made by the 
holders of the Tower ; for finding it impossible to guard themselves by earth- 
works from the approach of an enemy, owing to the stony nature of the 
ground, they resolved to destroy the lower portion of the building, and by 
thus isolating the highest floor offer resistance till they were attacked by 
cannon. The Governor assembled his army at Peebles on the 20th of July, 
and marched to Langholm Castle, capturing it, however, only after three or 
four days' siege, and not before seven cannon-shots had been directed against 
the walls. 1 

The keepership of Langholm was apparently assigned to the Warden of 
the West Marches, but the office was generally placed by him in the hands 
of a deputy. For instance, in 1562, Sir John Maxwell of Terregles delivered 
the keeping of Langholm to Christopher Armstrong of Barnaglies, son of 
Gilnockie; 2 and twenty years later we find Eobert Maxwell, natural brother 
of Lord Maxwell, filling the post of deputy, 3 and also acting as " Captain of 
Langholm" in 1590, apparently a distinct office, in virtue of which he was 
bound to resist the riding of the English borderers. 4 

When Lord Maxwell was deprived of the Wardenship, and the office was 
given to the Laird of Johnstone, his hereditary enemy, the Tower of Langholm 
seems to have been neglected. In 1580, Maxwell approached the Council 
with a petition for the delivery of the fortress into his hands, as otherwise it 
was open to the seizure of the " thieves " of either realm ; and the Council 
ordered Johnstone to surrender it to Maxwell before the 20th September, 
with the reservation that Maxwell's servants should keep it " ready patent " 
to Johnstone when he might require it for the better discharge of his duties. 5 
In tins very month the Armstrongs attacked the Tower, and destroyed the 
barns, corn, etc. 6 

1 Eure to the Protector, 29th June 1547 ; Pitscottie ; Anderson's MSS., Advocates' Library. 

2 Book of Carlaverook. 3 MS. Laws of Marches, Record Office. 

4 Archaeologia, vol. xxii. 5 Privy Council Records, MS., 9th September 1580. 

6 Pitcairn, vol. i. Part n. pp. 450-2. 

kii NEWARK CASTLE, IN YARROW. [introduction. 

Langholm was acquired by the first Earl of Buceleuch from the Earl of 
Nithsdale, and it has since been the property of the Buceleuch family. The 
ancient historic tower was demolished in 1725, to furnish materials for the 
building of a " fine bow " in the middle of the Langholm, on the north side 
of the Esk ; and afterwards the new house of Langholm, under the name 
of Langholm Lodge, became a residence of the Duke of Buceleuch. 


Stands amid picturesque scenery on the banks of the poetic stream of 
Yarrow, about two miles from its junction with the Ettrick, and a short 
distance from the site of Auldwark, a former castle, of which no portion now 
remains. In the Border Antiquities there is a drawing of the exterior of 
Newark Castle, and another of the interior. The original name of Newark 
was Cathmurlie. The Eoyal Castle of Newark was built in the fifteenth 
century, when the Forest of Ettrick formed a hunting-ground for the 
monarchs of Scotland, and sometime before the year 1423, as it is then 
called the " New Werk " in a charter by Archibald, Earl of Douglas. 1 
The barons of Buceleuch were captains of the Castle of Newark at an early 
date ; and when Margaret, queen of King James the Fourth, came to take 
possession of her jointure lauds in the Forest, in which the castle stood, Sir 
Walter Scott would not permit her to enter until he received the royal 
warrant. In the year 1543, during the regency of Arran, he and his heirs- 
male by Janet Betoun were appointed captains and keepers of the Castle of 
Newark, and his grandson was confirmed in the office by Queen Mary in the 
year 1565. The castle did not escape the ravages of the English. In the 
year 1548 it was besieged by Lord Grey, who burned the town, and carried 
off a large booty, including three thousand sheep and four hundred cattle ; 
and in the autumn of the same year the castle itself was burned by Lord 
Grey. Newark was used as a residence by Walter, first Earl of Buceleuch, 

1 Reg. Mag. Sig., Lib. ii. p. 60. 

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introduction.]. NEWARK CASTLE. ,. lxiii 

and several of his children were born there ; but after the death of his 
countess, Lady Mary Hay, and during his continued absence in Holland, 
where he took an active part in the War of Independence, his children were 
placed under the care of his sister, Lady Margaret Scott, Lady Eoss, at 
Melville. The estate. of Dalkeith having been purchased during the minority 
of Francis, second Earl of Buccleuch, the Castle of Dalkeith then became the 
residence of the family, in place of Branxholm and Newark. It is stated 
by Mr. Chalmers in his Caledonia, and by Sir Walter Scott in. the Border 
Antiquities, 1 that Anna Duchess of Buccleuch was born in Newark Castle. 
But both statements are inaccurate. The Duchess was born in Dundee, as 
is fully shown in her Memoir. This stronghold of the Scotts of Buccleuch 
was occupied by the 'invading army under Cromwell, in the year 1650, after 
the defeat of the Scots at Dunbar. The Castle of Newark was chosen by 
Sir Walter Scott as the spot where the aged Minstrel recites his Lay before 
Anna, Duchess of Buccleuch and Monmouth : — 

" He pass'd where Newark's stately tower 
Looks out from Yarrow's birchen bower : 
The Minstrel gazed with wishful eye — 
No humbler resting-place was nigh, 
With hesitating step at last, 
The embattled portal-arch he pass'd, 
"Whose ponderous grate and massy bar 
Had oft roll'd back the tide of war, 
But never closed the iron door 
Against the desolate and poor." 

Newark is now a ruin. It had been a place of great strength, as is shown 
by the massive walls, four stories high. An armorial stone in the west gable 
bears the royal arms of Scotland — a Eon rampant, with two unicorns as sup- 
porters of the shield, which is surmounted by an open antique crown, held 
by a demi-angel winged. 

1 Vol. i. p. 66. 

lxiv DALKEITH CASTLE. [introduction. 


Was originally a fortalice of the family of Graham, from whom it passed by 
marriage into the hands of William Douglas, Lord of Liddesdale, celebrated as 
the Flower of Chivalry. During the Douglas rebellion in the fifteenth century, 
the Lord of Dalkeith fought on behalf of his brother-in-law, King James the 
Second, against his chief, the Earl of Douglas, and the castle was then 
besieged with great determination, but without success. The Lord of Dalkeith, 
in reward for his faithful adherence to the King, was created Earl of Morton 
in 1458. The castle continued in the possession of the Douglases — with the 
exception of a brief period from the forfeiture of the Eegent Morton till 
shortly after the reversal of his attainder — until the middle of the seventeenth 
century, when the lordship of Dalkeith was purchased by Francis, second 
Earl of Buccleuch. During the Commonwealth, the castle was taken posses- 
sion of by the English Commissioners, and was subsequently the residence of 
General Monck, when he had the charge of the infant Mary, Countess of 
Buccleuch. One of the bedrooms is known as Monck's, and another of the 
rooms is traditionally known as the one in which he planned the restoration 
of King Charles the Second. 

The castle was entirely reconstructed about the year 1705, by Anna, 
Duchess of Buccleuch and Monmouth, who said that she was extravagant in 
new marble work to show her respect for her old castle. The marble work 
is still entire, and the great hanging stair leading from the ground floor to the 
gallery is particularly graceful and much admired. After the alterations 
made by the Duchess, the castle was occasionally called the Palace of 
Dalkeith, but it is now known as Dalkeith House. Although considerable 
portions of the old building still remain, the alteration then made was so 
great, that no resemblance can now be traced to the ancient stronghold of the 
Douglases or the " Lion's Den" of Eegent Morton. The present mansion is 
pleasantly situated about half a mile above the junction of the North and 
South Esk. 


; ? 





O S 








Dalkeith was often in former days the resort of royalty, and in our own 
day the pleasant association has been renewed. In 1503, the Princess 
Margaret Tudor arrived at Dalkeith, in her progress from England to join 
her husband, King James the Fourth. " Queen Margaret's Gate," near 
Newbattle Abbey, still points out the way by which the Queen approached 
Dalkeith along the old road and the beautiful old bridge over the Esk below 
the Abbey, commonly called the "Maiden Bridge," from the fact of the 
Princess having passed along it when she was a bride. Cardinal Betoun 
was imprisoned in the Castle of Dalkeith for opposing the proposed marriage 
of Queen Mary, then a year old, to her infant cousin, Edward Prince of Wales. 
Here King James the Sixth stayed several days in the year 1579, and here in 
June 1633, his son, King Charles the First, was magnificently entertained by 
William, Earl of Morton. On his way back to England from Edinburgh after 
his coronation, King Charles ended his first day's journey at Dalkeith. Having 
formed a very favourable opinion of the castle and barony of Dalkeith, he 
made an arrangement with the Earl of Morton to purchase them from his 
lordship, intending to convert the grounds, consisting of about 8000 acres, 
into a great deer park. The lordship was surrendered to the Earl of Traquair, 
as Lord High .Treasurer, on behalf of the King, and the Earl took up his 
residence at the castle. But the troubles of Charles soon ensuing, the 
purchase was never completed, and the Earl of Morton afterwards sold 
Dalkeith to Francis, second Earl of Buccleuch. On his visit to Scotland in 
1822, King George the Fourth had the mansion-house of Dalkeith placed 
at his disposal by the young Duke of Buccleuch and his guardians. A notice 
of his Majesty's occupation of Dalkeith House will be given in the Memoir 
of the present Duke of Buccleuch. Twenty years later, when the niece of 
King George the Fourth, Her Majesty the Queen, first came to Scotland 
with the Prince Consort, they honoured the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch 
with a visit at Dalkeith, where they occupied the rooms that had been set 
apart for King George the Fourth. 

vol. i. i 

lxvi THE SCOTTS OF HARDEN. [introduction. 


Of the many branches of the Scotts of Buccleuch, one of the most 
ancient, as well as the most influential and historical, is that of the Scotts 
of Harden, who are descended from the Scotts of Sinton, 1 and are now 
represented by Walter-Hugh Hepburne-Scott of Harden, Lord Polwarth. 
The Scotts of Balwearie could boast of their famous wizard, Sir Michael 
Scott, and the Scotts of Harden can also claim their great wizard, Sir Walter 
Scott. Between the Scotts of Buccleuch and the Scotts of Harden there 
was always a close alliance in matters of Border interest. At the famous 
rescue of " Kinmont Will" from Carlisle Castle in 1596, the Laird 
of Harden formed one of the gallant band engaged in that perilous 
exploit. The ballad of " Jamie Telfer of the Fair Dodhead," alludes to the 
reliance which Buccleuch placed on Harden when the latter was performing 
the duties imposed by him as Warden of the Marches : — 

" Warn Wat o' Harden and his sons 
Wi' them will Borthwick water ride, 
Warn Goldielands and Allanhauch 
And Gilmanscleuch and Comonside." 

In the seventeenth century the relations between the Scotts of Buc- 
cleuch and Harden became still more intimate, and culminated in the 
romantic marriage of the young Countess of Buccleuch with Walter Scott, 
a scion of the house of Harden. This marriage forms an interesting chapter 
in the history of the respective houses of Buccleuch and Harden, and the 
true story will be found in the sixteenth chapter of this work. 

The romantic situation of the old mansion-house of Harden could not 
fail to attract the special notice of Leyden in his poetic description of 
Teviotdale, and he hit off the scene with great felicity in the following lines : 

1 The old mansion-house of Sinton having sion, now in the present house, bears this 
been burned down, the present house was inscription: "George Scot in Sinton, and Mar- 
built by Alexander Scott of Sinton in 1776. garet Edmoston his spous, zer of God 1570. 
Part of an ancient stone of the former man- The Heart." . . . 




" Where Bortlia hoarse, that loads the meads with sand, 
Rolls her red tide to Teviot's western strand, 
Through slaty hills whose sides are shagged with thorn, 
Where springs, in scattered tufts, the dark-green corn, 
Towers wood-girt Harden far above the vale ; 
And clouds of ravens o'er the turrets sail. 
A hardy race, who never shrunk from war, 
The Scott, to rival realms a mighty bar, 
Here fixed his mountain-home — a wide domain, 
And rich the soil, had purple heath been grain ; 
But what the niggard ground of wealth denied, 
From fields more blest his fearless arm supplied." 1 

The habits of several of the heads of the family of Harden were quite as 
romantic as the situation of their castle. Robert Scott of Stirkshaws, second 
son of Walter Scott of Sinton, was the first Scott of Harden, having acquired 
this estate from Alexander Lord Home in 1501. The second son of Robert 
Scott was William Scott, known by the sobriquet of Boltfoot. He was the 
second Scott of Harden. His grandson was the renowned Walter Scott of 
Harden, commonly called " Auld Wat," whose deeds have been celebrated in 
Border ballads. Many of these ballads are ascribed to a minstrel who had 
been taken captive when a child in a Border raid, and rescued by Mary Scott, 
" The Flower of Yarrow," the beautiful bride of Walter Scott of Harden : — 

" His are the strains whose wandering echoes thrill 
The shepherd lingering on the twilight hill, 
When evening brings the merry folding hours 
And sun-eyed daisies close their winking flowers. 
He lived o'er Yarrow's Flower to shed the tear, 
To strew the holly leaves o'er Harden's bier ; 
But none was found above the minstrel's tomb, 
Emblem of peace, to bid the daisy bloom. 
He, nameless as the race from which he sprung, 
Saved other names, and left his own unsung." 2 

1 Scenes of Infancy, by Dr. John Leyden, ed. 1875, p. 9. - Ibid. p. 10. 

lxviii THE HARDEN SPURS. [introduction. 

In those turbulent times, when the cattle and flocks of the Scottish Border 
chief were liable to be swept off in a night, reprisals were of course made on 
the English Border. It is said that when the last bullock was consumed at 
Harden, Mary, the Flower of Yarrow, placed on the table a clean pair of 
spurs, a significant hint that the larder was to be replenished from the herds 
of Northumberland. The identical spurs are now in the possession of Lord 
Polwarth, and an engraving of these romantic relics is here given. 

" And loud, and loud in Harden tower 

The quaigh gaed round wi' meikle glee ; 
For the English beef was brought in bower, 
And the English ale flowed merrilie. 

They ate, they laugh' d, they sang and quaff'd 

Till nought on board was seen, 
When knight and squire were boune to dine, 

But a spur of silver sheen." x 

Sir Walter Scott relates that, " upon one occasion when the village 
herd was driving out the cattle to pasture, the old Laird heard him call 
loudly to drive out Harden's cow. ' Harden's cow!' echoed the affronted 
chief, ' Is it come to that pass ? By my faith they shall soon say Harden's 
kye (cows).' Accordingly he sounded his bugle, set out with his followers, 
and next day returned with a bow of kye and a bassen'd (brindled) bull. On 
his return with his gallant prey he passed a very large haystack. It 
occurred to the provident Laird that this would be extremely convenient to 
fodder his new stock of cattle, but as no means of transporting it were 
obvious, he was fain to take leave of it with the apostrophe now become 
proverbial, ' By my saul had ye but fowr feet ye should not stand lang there.' 
In short, as Froissart says of a similar class of feudal robbers, nothing came 
amiss to them that was not too heavy or too hot." 

1 The Reiver's Wedding, Lockhart's Life of Scol/t, vol. i. p. 354. 




introduction.] . THE HARDEN BUGLE-HORN. lxix 

The bugle horn here mentioned by Sir Walter Scott is still one of the 
heirlooms of Harden, and an illustration of the interesting relic, the surface 
Of which is completely covered with initials, cut or burned into the horn, is 
here given. 

" He took a bugle frae his side, 

With names carved o'er and o'er, 
Full many a chief of meikle pride, 
That Border bugle bore. 

He blew a note baith sharp and hie 

Till rock and water rang around, 
Three score of moss-troopers and three 

Have mounted at that bugle sound." x 

Auld Wat's bugle-horn is often referred to — 

" Fra the hills which sae aft at the peeping o' morn 
Ha' rung to the blast o' my gude bugle horn." 2 

In his autobiography Sir Walter Scott says, " Every Scottishman has a 
pedigree. It is a national prerogative as unalienable as his pride and his 
poverty. My birth was neither distinguished nor sordid. According to the 
prejudices of my country, it was esteemed gentle, as I was connected, though 
remotely, with ancient families, both by my father's and mother's side. My 
father's grandfather was Walter Scott, well known in Teviotdale by the sur- 
name of Beardie. He was the second son of Walter Scott, first Laird of 
Raeburn, who was third son of Sir William Scott and the grandson of Walter 
Scott, commonly called in tradition Auld Watt of Harden. I am, therefore, 
lineally descended from that ancient chieftain, whose name I have made to 
ring in many a ditty, and from his fair dame the Flower of Yarrow, no bad 
genealogy for a Border minstrel." 3 

1 The Reiver's Wedding, Lockliart's Life of 2 Wat o' Harden's Ghost, Poem at Mertoun. 
Scott, vol. i. p. 354. s Lockhart's Life of Scott, vol. i. p. 3. 

lxx THE FLOWER OF YARROW. [introduction. 


As might be supposed, many traditions are told of Auld Wat and his 
beautiful wife, the Flower of Yarrow. According to the " Border Memories," 
he married Mary Scott, daughter of John or Philip Scott of Dryhope. 1 By 
their marriage-contract the father-in-law was bound to find Scott of Harden 
in horse meat and man's meat at his tower of Dryhope for a year and a day. 
But five barons pledged themselves that at the expiry of that period the son- 
in-law should remove without attempting to continue in possession by force. 
Harden on his part agreed to give Dryhope the profits of the first Michaelmas 
moon — a curious illustration of the unsettled character of the age. 2 

The peculiarity of these alleged ante-nuptial conditions induced us to 
examine the original contract for the marriage. It bears date at Selkirk, the 
21st of March 1576, and the parties to it are Walter Scott of Harden, and 
John Scott in Dryhope for his daughter Marion Scott. Walter and Marion 
become bound to celebrate their marriage before Lammas then next ; and 
Walter obliges himself to infeft Marion in liferent in the lands of Mabynlaw, 
as a part of Harden. The father of Marion Scott becomes bound to pay to 
Harden four hundred merks Scots, at the terms specified, the balance being 
to be paid " at the said Walter and Marion's passing to their awin hous." For 
observing the contract faithfully, the parties to the contract obliged them by the 
faith and truth in their bodies, and by the " ostentioun" of their right hands. 3 

These are the principal provisions of the contract, and it will be seen how 
much tradition has added to them about the meat for man and horse, the five 
guaranteeing barons, and the profits of the Michaelmas moon. We regret to 
be obliged to explode these pleasant fables, but where they are so plainly 
demonstrated to be fictions they should not be continued in genuine history. 

1 Dryhope Tower, now in ruins, was a square 2 Border Memories, by Walter Riddell 

tower, near St. Mary's Loch, three stories high, Carre, 18715; p. 75. 
on a rocky eminence above the west bank of 

Dryhope bum. The tower is arched inside. 3 Original Contract of Marriage in Lord 

The walls are of great thickness. Polwarth's Charter-room. 

introduction.] MUC KLE-MOUTHED MEG. lxxi 


The traditions connected with the marriage of Auld Wat are eclipsed in 
their romance by those relating to the marriage of his eldest son, which have 
been frequently narrated. Captured, it is said, in a skirmish with the 
followers of Sir Gideon Murray of Elibank, he was offered the choice of death 
on the " doom-tree," or marriage with the plainest of Sir Gideon's three 
daughters, who was known as " Muckle-mouthed Meg." He chose the latter 
alternative. In his life of Sir "Walter Scott, Mr. Lockhart has introduced the 
story of that marriage. He says, " The young and handsome heir of Harden, 
engaging in a foray upon the lands of Sir Gideon Murray of Elibank, treasurer- 
depute of Scotland, was overpowered by that baron's retainers, and carried in 
shackles to his castle, now a heap of ruins, on the banks of the Tweed. 
Elibank's ' doom-tree ' extended its broad arms close to the gates of his 
fortress, and the indignant laird was on the point of desiring his prisoner to 
say a last prayer, when his more considerate dame interposed milder counsels, 
suggesting that the culprit was born to a good estate, and that they had three 
unmarried daughters. Young Harden, not, it is said, without hesitation, 
agreed to save his life by taking the plainest of the three off their hands ; and 
the contract of marriage, executed instantly on the parchment of a drum, is 
still in the charter-chest of his noble representative." 1 

Sir Walter Scott's own account of the marriage of his ancestor, the young 
heir of Harden, is still more graphic. Writing to Miss Seward from Edin- 
burgh on June 29, 1802, Sir Walter says, " I have some thoughts of attempt- 
ing a Border ballad in the comic manner, but I almost despair of bringing it 
well out. A certain Sir William Scott, from whom I am descended, was 
ill-advised enough to plunder the estate of Sir Gideon Murray of Elibank, 
ancestor to the present Lord Elibank. The marauder was defeated, seized, 
and brought in fetters to the castle of Elibank, upon the Tweed. The Lady 
Murray (agreeably to the custom of all ladies in ancient tales) was seated on 
1 Lockhart's Life of Scott, vol. i. p. 68. 

lxxii MUCKLE-MOUTHED MEG. [introduction. 

the battlements, and descried the return of her husband with his prisoners. 
She immediately inquired what he meant to do with the young Knight of 
Harden, which was the petit titrc of Sir William Scott. ' Hang the robber, 
assuredly,' was the answer of Sir Gideon. ' What,' answered the lady, ' hang 
the handsome young knight of Harden when I have three ill-favoured 
daughters unmarried ! No, no, Sir Gideon, we '11 force him to marry our 
Meg.' Now tradition says that Meg Murray was the ugliest woman in 
the four counties, and that she was called, in the homely dialect of the 
time, Mdkle-mouthed Meg (I will not affront you by an explanation). Sir 
Gideon, like a good husband and tender father, entered into his wife's 
sentiments, and preferred to Sir William the alternative of becoming his 
son-in-law, or decorating with his carcase the kindly gallows of Elibank. 
The lady was so very ugly, that Sir William, the handsomest man of his time, 
positively refused the honour of her hand. Three days were allowed him to 
make up his mind, and it was not until he found one end of a rope made fast 
to his neck and the other knitted to a sturdy oak bough that his resolution 
gave way, and he preferred an ugly wife to the literal noose. It is said they 
were afterwards a very happy couple. She had a curious hand at pickling 
the beef which he stole ; and marauder as he was, he had little reason to 
dread being twitted by the pawky gowk." 1 

In the following month Sir Walter writes to Miss Seward that the ballad 
of The Eeiver's Wedding is not yet written ; and Mr. Lockhart states that it 
never was completed, but that he had found two copies of its commencement. 
He printed what seems to have been the second one. He explains that Sir 
Walter meant to mingle with Sir William's capture Auld Wat's foray of the 
Bassened Bull, and the Feast of Spurs ; and that for some unknown reason, 
Lochwood Castle, the ancient fortress of the Johnstones in Annandale, was 
substituted for the real locality of his ancestor's Drumhead Wedding Contract. 

A similar account of the marriage of Sir William Scott and Meg Murray 
is also given by Sir Walter Scott in the Border Antiquities. 2 

1 Lockhart's Life of Scott, vol. i. p. 349. 2 Page 155. 

introduction.] « THE REIVER'S WEDDING," BY SCOTT. 


The Eeiver's Wedding, a poem by Sir Walter Scott, is printed in his Life 
by Lockhart, but is too lengthy for insertion here. A spirited poem on the 
same subject, which, as far as I am aware, has never been printed, may here 
be appropriately introduced. The authoress was Lady Louisa Stuart, daughter 
of John Earl of Bute, the Prime Minister, who was a very accomplished 
lady, and wrote clever letters to many correspondents. 



Peace to these worthy days of old, 
Cast in our modern teeth so oft, 

When Man was, as befits him, bold, 
And Woman, as she should be, soft. 

Well ! thus while stage and press declaim, 
By pulpit on a Sunday backed, 

Suppose we start some other game, 
And rummage record-chests for fact. 

Those virtuous, upright, simple days, 
When lucre — despicable thing — 

Made never youth his finger raise, 
Or fair, put hers in wedding ring. 

What says the bard, whose witching song 
Comes glowing with such vivid fires 

As make the coldest of us long 
To warraie like our gallant sires ? 

Then worth was all that Parents weighed, 
And Damsels listened not to lies ; 

And suitors wished a lovely maid 
To bring no dowry but her eyes. 

Then blessed was marriage, could it choose 

When genuine Love, not crabbed Law, 
Towering above all sordid views, 

The contract came alone to draw, 


Without one syllable of these, 
Devised by Satan for our sins — 

Entail and jointure and trustees, 
And separate purses for — for pins. 


Then wives accepted as a boon 

What husbands' bounty loved to shower, 
And widows broke their hearts too soon 

To need the comforts of a dower. 
VOL. I. 

'Tis thus he says — but says in prose, 
While only gladd'ning social hours — 

The Cumbrian bugle loudly blows, 

The chief returns with all his powers. 

That blast bespeaks not rout or fear, 

'Tis triumph's animating tone ; 
It scarcely meets the lady's ear, 

When up she 's to the rampart flown. 


By this her lord has reach'd the moat, 

Shouts for the bridge and quits his steed. 

" What luck ?" she asks ; " by all I note 
Saint George was with you at your need." 

■'' None better, dame, might man desire ; 

We 've chased the Borderers past their bounds, 
Ta'en for us herds and goodly hire — 

Rich payment for our ravaged grounds. 


kxiv " UGLY MEG," BY LADY 

LOUISA STUART. [introduction. 



" 'Tis true the blue-caps showed us sport, 

" Mass ! though a woman, thou hast wit," 

Aud breathful many a brave man's veins ; 

The Baron said, and weighed the case, 

But see yon gallant, mark his port, 

" Yet sweetheart, an I must submit, 

'Tis Scott of Harden in our chains." 

No chusing— that were too much grace. 


" Then be the Virgin praised," she said, 


" For Moll and Maudlin they may win 

" This day shall chronicler record. 

Some Christian husband, bad or good ; 

Now, hark ye, ere the feast we spread, 

But ugly Meg would frighten sin, 

What will you do with Harden's Lord ?" 

And Harden weds her by the Bood. 


" Do ! " cries the Baron, fierce, 


"Black Ralph, thou hast a penman's fame, 

" Do with a cut-throat and a thief ? 

Write articles on yonder drum, 

The country's dread, the Border's curse, 

When see thou bar the bridegroom's claim 

Do with him ? let his prayers be brief. 

To all I have, or have to come. 



" Here chuse me some convenient tree, 

" No portion — but if Meg survives 

And hang him high ere break of day." 

He jointures her in all his lands ; 

" Nay, that they shall not do," quoth she, 

So now pluck off the prisoner's gyves, 

" Hang Harden's Knight-hang you they may 

" And, Father Topas, join their hands." 


Oh, sweetness of the gentle sex 


" Stay, leave me thus for ever bound," 

Melting with pity, lenient still, 

The captive in a panic cried, 

And loveliest when its pleading checks 

" Or make me turn a mill-wheel round, 

Bloodthirsty man's inhuman will. 

Ere yon Hobgoblin be my bride." 



" So ! " the mild fair resumed, and placed 

" Hold," quoth the Father, " choice is just, 

Her arms akimbo as she spake, 

Prefer the gallows and do well, 

" Here 's thrifty doings — war and waste 

A rope on Harden will, I trust, 

And brew the more the less you bake. 

Keep Meg from leading apes in hell." 



" Hang Harden's chief ! a precious jest, 

The priests now sung the parting hymn, 

A bachelor comely, young, and rich ; 

The noose was slipp'd beneath his head, 

You ! with three maiden daughters blest, 

Ah ! fair is life, though Meg be grim, 

111 favoured as the nightmare each. 

"Stop, stop," he roars, "I'll wink and wed." 

" Unbind his hands and fetch a friar — 

Thus wooed they in the good old days ; 

I sleep not till the thing be done ; 

And, pitying reader, though you stare. 

He takes hia choice, and I acquire 

The last, the sweetest minstrel says, 

The Knight of Harden for my son." 

These lived and died a loving pair. 

introduction.] REAL NAME OF MUCKLE-MOUTHED MEG. lxxv 

Here again fiction has been more busy than in the case of the marriage of 
Auld Wat and the Flower of Yarrow. The accomplished Lockhart, with all 
his training in law and distinction in literature, has seriously described the 
marriage of young Harden and Meg Murray as the Drumhead Wedding 
Contract, and states that the marriage-contract was instantly executed on the 
parchment of a drum. 1 Whether by that description Mr. Lockhart means that 
the contract of marriage was actually written on the parchment of a drum in 
the great hurry of the moment and for lack of paper to engross the contract in 
ordinary form, or only that the drumhead served as a kind of table on which 
to place the proper contract for signature, the facts are against either theory. 

The marriage of young Harden and Agnes Murray, not Margaret, or Meg 
as in tradition, instead of being a hurried business, was arranged very 
leisurely, and with great care, calmness, and deliberation, by all the parties 
interested, including the two principals, the bridegroom and the bride, and 
the parents on either side. This appears plainly from the contracts of 
marriage, which are still preserved in the Charter-room of Lord Polwarth, 
the lineal representative and descendant of the happy partners in this fable- 
invested marriage. Contrary to all romance, the preliminaries for the mar- 
riage were unusually formal, and were prolonged for many months. Instead 
of one contract, as is usual in such cases, there were two separate and suc- 
cessive contracts, made at an interval of several months before the marriage 
was finally arranged. 

The first contract bears date at Edinburgh, 18th February 1611. The 
parties to it are Walter and William Scott, elder and younger of Harden, on 
the one part, and Sir Gideon Murray of Elibank, knight, for himself and 
Agnes Murray his eldest daughter, on the other part. Young Harden and 
Agnes Murray agree to solemnise the holy bond of matrimony in the face of 
Christ's Kirk, as God's Word doth allow, betwixt the date of the contract and 
the first day of May then next — that is, within two months and a half after 
the date of the contract. Walter Scott binds himself to infeft his son and 

1 Life of Scott, vol. i. pp. 68, 353. 

lxxvi SIR WALTERS STORY A MYTH. [introduction. 

his promised spouse and the longest liver of them, in conjunct fee, and the 
heirs-male of the marriage, whom failing, the heirs-male of William Scott in 
any other marriage, in the lands of Harden and other lands belonging to 
Walter and William Scott. Owing to the limitation to heirs-male, and the 
exclusion of the daughters of the marriage from succeeding to the lands, special 
money provisions are made in favour of any daughters to be born of the mar- 
riage. This was the usual form of contracts of marriage at this period, in cases 
where the estates were provided to heirs-male, to the exclusion of female heirs. 

Sir Gideon Murray became bound to pay to William Scott, younger of 
Harden, the sum of seven thousand merks, good and usual money of 
Scotland, as tocher with his daughter, which was a much larger tocher than 
William Scott's own beautiful mother, the Flower of Yarrow, brought to her 
husband. Walter Scott reserved the liferent of the lands of Harden and 
other lands. 

Agnes Murray, at the date of that contract, was under age, and she 
became bound to execute certain deeds in reference to the marriage arrange- 
ments on her attaining twenty-one years of age. 

The contract is subscribed by Sir Gideon Murray, William Scott, and 
" Agnes Morraye," all good signatures. But as Auld Wat of Harden could not 
write, his subscription is thus given, " Walter Scott of Harden, with my hand 
at the pen, led be the notaris vnderwritten at my command, becaus I can 
not wryt." Two notaries attest the hand-led signature of the old hero of 
Harden, along with several Murray and Scott witnesses, who were all able 
to subscribe their own names. 

So formal and elaborate are the provisions, conditions, and arrangements 
in that contract, and so long is the description of the numerous lands 
contained in it, that it occupies a roll of seven feet, the whole of which is 
closely engrossed with small writing from head to foot. 1 The contract of 
marriage of Auld Wat with the Flower of Yarrow was very short, extending 
in length to about one foot. 

1 Original Contract in Lord Polwarth's Charter-room. 

introduction.] "MEG'S" MARRIAGE UNROMANTIC. lxxvii 

For some reason not apparent from the contract, the marriage of William 
Scott and Agnes Murray was not celebrated on the 1st of May 1611, as had 
been provided by the deed of the 18th of February. Another contract was 
made at the Provost's Place of Creichtoun, on the 14th of July 1611, in terms 
similar to those of the original contract, with the new provision that young 
Harden and Agnes Murray promise to solemnise and complete the holy band 
of matrimony in face of Christ's Kirk as God's Word does allow, betwixt 
the date of that second contract and the 1st day of August following. This 
shows that no marriage had previously taken place. The second contract 
contains the same limitation of the lands of Harden to the heirs-male of the 
marriage, the provisions to any daughters to be born, who were excluded 
from succession to the lands, the tocher of seven thousand merks Scots to be 
paid by Sir Gideon Murray, and the deeds to be made when his daughter 
attained to twenty-one years. The second contract is also subscribed by 
Sir Gideon Murray, William Scott, and " Agnes Morray," and by notarial 
attestation for Auld Wat, because he could not write. 1 

The anxiously deliberate and careful preliminary arrangements for the 
marriage, as disclosed by these successive contracts, contradict the popular 
tradition as to the circumstances attending this wedding. Instead of 
being hurried on at a moment's was delayed and put off from 
time to time, and guarded with as formal and elaborate contracts as ever 
were written for the regulation of the rights and provisions of the parties 
directly interested ; and instead of an ill-favoured, penniless bride, we have 
a youthful maiden who brings to her husband a handsome tocher of 7000 

Tradition, as we have seen, took liberties with the terms of the contract 
of marriage of Auld Wat and the lovely Flower of Yarrow, and tradition has 
taken still further liberties with the arrangements for the marriage of their 
son and his perhaps less comely bride. Muckle-mouthed Meg Murray must 
henceforth be considered as a myth, although it is no very easy task to eradi- 
1 Original Contract in Lord Polwarth's Charter-room. 


cate fables that have been fixed for generations, and finally stereotyped by 
the genius of a literary artist. Lockhart says that all Meg's descendants have 
inherited something of her characteristic feature, and that Sir Walter Scott 
was certainly no exception to the rule. 1 The late Lord Polwarth told the 
author of this work that on one occasion he sat opposite the Ettrick Shepherd 
at an agricultural dinner. Hogg looked hard and long at his Lordship, who 
at last asked him his reason. The poet answered that he was "just looking 
to see if ye had the feemly mou." 

The eldest son of the marriage of William Scott and Agnes Murray suc- 
ceeded to the Harden estates, and the second son became Sir Gideon Scott 
of Highchester, who figures prominently in the memoir of Mary, Countess of 
Buccleuch, — his son, Lord Tarras, having married the Countess. Another son, 
Walter Scott, was the ancestor of the Scotts of Kaeburn and Abbotsford, as 
shown in the genealogical table of Sir Walter Scott. 


This lady was the wife of Hugh Scott of Harden, who became Lord 
Polwarth. She was a daughter of Hans Maurice, Count de Briihl, and Alicia 
Maria, Countess Dowager of Egremont, his wife. The Count was Saxon 
Ambassador at the Court of Great Britain. When residing at Sandy Knowe, 
a farm on the estate of Mertoun, belonging to Mr. Scott of Harden, Sir Walter 
Scott, then a young man, attracted the notice of this accomplished lady, who 
discovered his genius and greatly assisted him in early life. A warm and 
intimate friendship continued between them, and to her he was much 
indebted for assistance in the production of his earlier poems, more especi- 
ally of his translations from the German. " When I first saw Sir Walter," 
she writes to Mr. Lockhart, "he was about four or five-and-twenty, but 
looked much younger. He seemed bashful and awkward, but there were 

1 Life of Scott, vol. i. p. 330. 

introduction.] MRS. SCOTT OF HARDEN, LADY POLWARTII. lxxix 

from the first such gleams of superior sense and spirit in his conversation, 
that I was hardly surprised when, after our acquaintance had ripened a 
little, I felt myself to be talking with a man of genius. He was most modest 
about himself, and showed his little pieces apparently without any conscious- 
ness that they could possess any claim on particular attention. Nothing so 
easy and good-humoured as the way in which he received any hints I might 
offer, when he seemed to be tampering with the King's English. I remember 
particularly how he laughed at himself, when I made him take notice 
that ' the little two dogs ' in some of his lines did not please an English ear 
accustomed to ' the two little dogs.' " * 

Mrs. Scott of Harden was a very discriminating collector of fugitive 
pieces of poetry and cuttings from newspapers, and she arranged these into 
four folio volumes now in the Harden library. These volumes contain 
several poems holograph of Sir Walter Scott, bearing the early dates of 
1796, 1803, and 1806. As a specimen of these collections in poetry and 
prose, the following may be given : — 

" Mildew'd o'er with dust and damp, 
Torn with teeth of Master Gamp, 
Orlando Furioso goes 
From Walter Scott to William Eose." 

" The above lines were written extempore by Sir Walter Scott in an old 
book which Mr. W. Eose asked him to take in his chaise." 2 

Among the manuscripts preserved in these volumes is the following : — 


When Lord Mansfield, then Mr. Murray, was a very young lawyer, he had been 
pleading in the morning, and at night sup'd out, and did not return to his 
chambers till two o'clock in the morning, and there found a coach waiting at the 

1 Life of Scott, vol. i. p. 24S. 2 Lady Polwarth's Collections, vol. ii. p. 305. 


door, in which his servant told him there was a lady who had waited there from 
six o'clock in the evening till that time, and although he had repeatedly asked her 
to go into the house, she had always refused ; that he (the servant) was sure she 
was some great lady, because she sivore. Mr. Murray, astonished at all this, asked 
the lady to come in, who came and told him her object was to give him a retain- 
ing fee, in case she should ever have a law-suit ; that she had heard him plead in 
the morning, and had resolved to secure him against ever pleading against her ; 
that she thought his talents so great that he might attain the highest offices in 
the State; that if he thought £500 too little, she would give him any sum. Mr. 
M., who had never been possessed of £5 which he could call his own, accepted 
the £500 with amazement. She also gave him a piece of advice, which was 
never again to sup out, and then told him that she was Sarah, Duchess of 
Marlborough, and went away. 

This scene made so strong an impression on Mr. Murray's mind, that from 
that hour he resolved never again to sup out, and kept his resolution, applied 
strongly to business, and in a great measure attributed his subsequent rise to that 
visit from so singular a personage. 

This was told to me by a person to whom Lord Mansfield told it. 

Harriet Scott, 1814. 

P.S. — It was £1000 which the Duchess of Marlborough gave to Lord Mans- 
field, and which he at first refused, and she then told him that he need have no 
scruples, that she could afford it, and told him who she was. 

A number of the letters which Sir Walter Scott wrote to Mrs. Harriet 
Scott of Harden are still preserved. They contain many touches charac- 
teristic of the writer. In sending Mrs. Scott a copy of one of his works, he 
writes, " Accept Don Eoderic, and let charity, which hides a multitude of 
sins, throw a corner of his mantle over the poetical blunders of the doughty 

When the claim of Mr. Scott of Harden to the Polwarth peerage was 
understood to be drawing to a successful issue, and when a baronetcy was 
about to be conferred on Sir Walter, he wrote to Mrs. Scott : — " I shall soon 
have to wish you joy of a step of honour higher than you had, and I am very 

introduction.] HENRY, FIFTH LORD POLWARTH. lxxxi 

happy to think that when I am to get a petit titre myself, the due distance 
and proportion will still continue in appearance as it must always have done 
in reality, between my chief and myself. How do you do, my Lady 
Polwarth ? I thank you, Sir "Walter. It is right to accustom one's-self to 
dignities by times." 

Harriet Lady Polwarth died on the 19th of August 1853. Her son, 
Henry Francis Hepburne Scott of Harden and Humbie, fifth Baron Pol- 
warth, was respected as a nobleman of exemplary worth. Lord Polwarth 
was born on 1st January 1S00. He married, on 11th November 1835, 
Georgina Baillie, daughter of George Baillie of Jerviswoode, sister of George 
Earl of Haddington. Lady Polwarth died at Nice, on 2d April 1859, 
leaving two sons and three daughters. Lord Polwarth was a representative 
Peer of Scotland for many years, and he also held the office of Lord- 
Lieutenant and Sheriff-Principal of the county of Selkirk. He died on the 
16th of August 1867, leaving; behind him, throughout the south of Scotland, 
a wide and deep regret for his loss. He had for upwards of forty years 
been one of the most constant and zealous among the Commissioners 
of Supply for the county of Eoxburgh, and at the annual meeting of the 
Commissioners held a few weeks after his death, the assembly, which was 
the largest that had met for many years, showed their respect for his memory 
by recording in their minute-book an expression of their sense of the 
loss the county had sustained. In speaking to the motion, his Grace 
the Duke of Buccleuch bore the following testimony to the high char- 
acter of Lord Polwarth : — " It is needless for me to speak of the high esti- 
mation in which Lord Polwarth was held by all who had the honour of 
his acquaintance. For upwards of forty years he was one of the most 
indefatigable, most useful, and most attentive members of the various 
bodies connected with the county, and spared neither time nor trouble in 
the discharge of his manifold duties. His fine character as a gentleman 
stood as high as it was possible for any man's character to stand. For my 
own part, I feel that I have lost in Lord Polwarth one of my oldest and most 

vol. i. I 

Ixxxii HENRY, FIFTH LORD POLWARTH. [introduction. 

steadfast friends, for whom I have always entertained the most affectionate 

A similar testimony to his high worth is afforded by the fact that at his 
death all the members of the hattalion of the Koxburgh and Selkirk Eifle 
Volunteers, of which his Lordship had been Lieutenant-Colonel from 1861 
till the time of his death, were desired to wear the usual mourning for a 
month, as a mark of respect for his Lordship's memory. Although his Lord- 
ship's family had wished his funeral to be strictly private, Major Sir George 
Douglas, the commanding officer, issued a battalion order that three repre- 
sentatives of each company should be present at the funeral, which took 
place at Mertoun, on Saturday, the 24th of August 1867. The battalion 
order condoled with the rifle volunteers on the heavy loss they had sustained 
by the death of their lieutenant- colonel, whose high and influential position, 
well known ability and experience, natural kindness of disposition, and, above 
all, his high and honourable character had so admirably fitted him for the 
command and the duties which he had so ably and efficiently performed. 
It added to the sorrow, which they felt for his death that it occurred when 
he was looking forward to appearing at the head of the battalion on the 
auspicious occasion of its assembling to receive the sovereign to whom he 
was so loyally attached. 

Lord Polwarth was succeeded by his eldest son, Walter- Hugh Hepburne- 
Scott, Baron Polwarth, who was born on 30th November 1838, and married 
his cousin-german, Lady Mary Gordon, eldest daughter of George fifth Earl 
of Aberdeen. Like his father, the present Lord has taken much interest 
in the business of the counties in which his estates are situated, and he 
has been for some time convener of the county of Eoxburgh. His Lordship 
has lately been appointed to the office, formerly held by his father, of Lord- 
Lieutenant and Sheriff-principal of Selkirkshire. 

introduction.] THE HEIR-MALE OF BUCGLEUGH. lxxxiii 

The present work having expanded into two large volumes, while dealing 
only with the history of the main line of the Scotts of Buccleuch, and including 
their charters and correspondence, a detailed account of the families that 
have branched off from the parent stem could not he given. The large pedi- 
gree which was arranged by Sir W alter Scott, with his own hand, for his 
chief of Harden, and which has been already described, includes a portion 
only of the main line of Buccleuch, the Harden branch, and a few other 
branches with which Sir Walter was himself connected. These pedigrees 
are all printed at the end of this volume, without any alteration beyond that 
of arrangement, and with a few additions in the later generations of the 
Harden line, which were incorporated by Harriet Lady Polwarth in the 
original manuscript. 

On the failure of the direct male line of Buccleuch on the death of 
Francis second Earl in 1651, it seems to have been uncertain on whom the 
male representation of the family devolved. Sir Walter Scott in his pedi- 
gree awarded the honour of male chiefship to Sir John Scott of Scotstarvet, 
author of the well-known work with the alliterative title of " Staggering 
State of the Scots Statesmen." Sir Walter represented Sir John Scott as 
being descended from Bobert Scott of Allanhaugh, second son of Sir David 
Scott of Buccleuch, who died in 1491 ; and Sir Walter further sets forth that 
on the death of General John Scott, the last of the male line of Scotstarvet, 
the chieftainship reverted to Scott of Harden, as representing the second son 
of Sir Michael Scott of Murthockston, who was killed at the battle of Durham 
in 1346. 

Another branch which has been supposed to be close to the representa- 
tion of the male line, is that of the Scotts of Thirlestane, in Ettrick, which, 
like other branches of the Scott family, has its full share of romance. The 
story of the " Heir of Thirlestane," who was presumed to have been poisoned 
by his stepmother, has a painful interest ; and to that crime was attributed 
all the misery and poverty that subsequently befell her unfortunate but 
innocent offspring. By a family arrangement entered into in the seventeenth 

lxxxiv BRANCHES OF BUCCLEUCH. [introduction. 

century between Sir John Scott of Thirlestane and his cousin, Patrick Scott 
of Tanlawhill, a younger son of the Thirlestane family, the latter obtained 
possession of the estate of Thirlestane in trust or wadset for his cousin Sir 
John. Patrick was the son of Walter Scott, who was killed by John Scott 
of Tushielaw in the combat celebrated in the beautiful ballad, " The Dowie 
Dens o' Yarrow." The descendants of Sir John, representing the elder line, 
became known as the Scotts of Davington, and the descendants of Patrick of 
Tanlawhill, although a younger line, took the designation of Thirlestane. 
The Scotts of Davington, who were numerous for a time, dropped into 
poverty and obscurity, and were so scattered over different parts of the 
country, at Canonbie, Moffat, Pinks, and other places, that it would be 
difficult to trace their representatives. In the year 1835, William Scott, who 
then resided at Lennoxtoun, near Langtoun, in Cumberland, claimed to be the 
heir-male of the Scotts of Thirlestane. He served in the 90th Regiment from 
1794 to 1817. He wrote in 1835 that he had no lawful son, and that his line 
would probably become extinct in his nephew, who had no children. 

Put while the main line of Thirlestane has thus dwindled into obscurity, 
the younger line has flourished into distinction. Patrick Scott of Tanlawhill, 
who obtained Thirlestane as before mentioned, was father of Sir Francis 
Scott of Thirlestane, who was created a Paronet in 1666. In 1673 he married 
Lady Henrietta Kerr, sixth daughter of William third Earl of Lothian. 
The eldest son of that marriage was Sir William Scott of Thirlestane, an 
accomplished scholar and poet, and the reputed author of the favourite 
ballad, " Fye, let us a' to the bridal." He was the last of the family of 
Thirlestane who retained the name of Scott. He married, in the year 1699, 
Elizabeth, only surviving child of Margaret Baroness Napier and her husband 
John Brisbane, only son of Matthew Brisbane, a writer in Edinburgh. 
Margaret Lady Napier survived her daughter Elizabeth, who died in the year 
1705, and on the death of her ladyship in the following year, she was 
succeeded by her grandson, Francis Scott of Thirlestane, who thereupon 
became fifth Lord Napier. He was the great-great-grandfather of Francis the 

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present and ninth Lord Napier, to whom was granted, in 1872, the additional 
dignity of Baron Ettrick, in recognition of the services rendered by his 
Lordship in his capacity of Ambassador to various States, and in the adminis- 
tration of Indian affairs. His Lordship has since used the title of Lord 
Napier and Ettrick. 

The generous manner in which the Harden collections have been placed 
at m} r disposal, both by the late Lord Polwarth and his son the present 
Lord, has been already alluded to. Contributions from other collections 
have also to be acknowledged. The numerous and valuable letters of Anna 
Duchess of Buccleuch and Monmouth, addressed to her respective corre- 
spondents, the Earls of Cromartie, Leven, Melville, and Wemyss, which 
form part of the Muniments of the representatives of these families, have 
been liberally placed at my- service by her Grace the Duchess of Sutherland 
and Countess of Cromartie, the Lady Elizabeth Leslie Melville Cartwright of 
Melville, and Mr. Erskine Wemyss of Wemyss. To Lady Elizabeth Cartwright 
this work is further indebted for her permission to engrave the portrait of 
her ancestress, Lady Margaret Leslie, Countess of Buccleuch, from the original 
at Melville. 

The Marquis of Lothian has also allowed me to inspect his large collec- 
tions of Border Correspondence. With the permission of his Lordship, a 
holograph letter of the first Lord Scott of Buccleuch is printed and litho- 
graphed in this work. An interesting Scott discovery was lately made at 
Newbattle, in a small parcel of modern ballads, printed on one side of separate 
slips of paper, tied together and labelled thus : — " Miscellaneous Papers, 
printed, etc., chiefly poetry : of little importance." The parcel was handed 
to me by Lord Lothian, who had just taken it out of the charter-room, and 
on examination it was found to contain the original draft of Sir Walter 
Scott's famous Border ballad, " The Eve of Saint John." It is holograph of Sir 
Walter, contains fifty stanzas, and extends over twenty-five pages of quarto 
paper. The ballad is scored throughout with numerous alterations. Sir 

lxxxvi "THE EVE OF SAINT JOHN." [introduction. 

Walter had taken great care in its composition : several of the stanzas have 
been cancelled, and others substituted. The poet considerably altered even 
the new verses, and in some cases changed them entirely. A facsimile of 
the first page of the ballad is here given. 

In his life of Scott, Lockhart gives the following account of "The Eve 
of Saint John:" — "The next of these compositions was, I believe, the Eve 
of Saint John, in which Scott repeoples the tower of Smailholm, the awe- 
inspiring haunt of his infancy ; and here he touches, for the first time, the 
one superstition which can still be appealed to with full and perfect effect, — 
the only one which lingers in minds long since weaned from all sympathy 
with the machinery of witches and goblins. And surely this mystery was 
never touched with more thrilling skill than in that noble ballad. It is the 
first of his original pieces, too, in which he uses the measure of his own 
favourite minstrels ; a measure which the monotony of mediocrity had long 
and successfully been labouring to degrade, but in itself adequate to the 
expression of the highest thoughts as well as the gentlest emotions, and 
capable, in fit hands, of as rich a variety of music as any other of modern 
times. This was written at Mertoun House in the autumn of 1799. Some 
dilapidations had taken place in the tower of Smailholm, and Harden, being- 
informed of the fact, and entreated with needless earnestness by his kins- 
man to arrest the hand of the spoiler, requested playfully a ballad, of 
which Smailholm should be the scene, as the price of his assent." 

The ballad was published in the year 1800, at Kelso, in quarto; titles 
two leaves, and eleven pages. Previous to the recent discovery at Newbattle, 
the original manuscript was not known to exist. No mention is made of 
it in the descriptive catalogue of the Scott Centenary Exhibition in 1871, in 
which are traced all the original manuscripts then known to exist, of the 
prose and poetic works of Sir Walter. 

Lord Lothian is very accurately acquainted with the valuable historical 
manuscripts in his venerable abbey. The original charter by King David 
the First to the Monks of Newbattle, dated in the year 1140, is in excellent 



condition, and very carefully preserved. The large collection of Border 
correspondence at Newbattle has been arranged with much care. But his 
Lordship was not aware, till the recent discovery, that he was the fortunate 
possessor of the author's manuscript of "The Eve of Saint John." 

Another Marquis, the late venerable Marquis of Tweeddale, permitted me 
to inspect his charter repositories, on different occasions, in connection with 
this work. His ancestor, the first Marquis, married Lady Jean Scott, sister 
of Francis second Earl of Buccleuch. After the death of Mary Countess of 
Buccleuch in 1661, her aunt, Lady Tweeddale, became the heir-presumptive 
to Lady Anna Scott, Countess of Buccleuch ; and there seems from the first 
to have been a jealousy lest the two families of Buccleuch and Tweeddale 
should become united. When heirs to the house of Buccleuch were in- 
creasing, the Duchess Anna, in intimating the birth of another grandchild, 
remarked, with that peculiar touch of humour which is conspicuous in her 
correspondence, that it was " to comfort her friend Tweeddale." The present 
Marquis of Tweeddale has very readily allowed the portraits of Walter and 
Francis, first and second Earls of Buccleuch, which are at Yester, to be 
engraved as illustrations for this work. 

The Countess of Bothes allowed me to inspect her muniments at Leslie 
House, and to quote several of them relating to Lady Margaret Leslie, who, 
as the mother of Mary Countess of Buccleuch and her sister Anna Duchess 
of Buccleuch and Monmouth, figures prominently in the memoirs of these 
ladies. Through three successive marriages, Lady Margaret Leslie was the 
ancestress of the noble houses of Leven, Buccleuch, and Wemyss. 

The late Earl of Bosslyn also allowed a facsimile to be made of an entry 
in the journal or diary of John Paterson, Archbishop of Glasgow, which is 
preserved at Dysart House. The journal contains a statement of the 
marriage of King Charles the Second and the mother of the Duke of 

In the course of this work many visits had to be made by me to the 
Charter-room at Dalkeith. From first to last I was greatly aided in my 

lxxxviii VALUE OF THE PRINTED MUNIMENTS. [introduction. 

researches there by Mr. Steuart, his Grace's secretary, who has been 
unwearied in his assistance. In a letter, dated 17th September 1768, from 
Mr. Archibald Campbell, W.S., Edinburgh, who was then law-agent of Henry 
Duke of Buccleuch, to Mr. Adam Smith, Mr. Campbell reports the result 
of a search which he had made in the Charter- room at Dalkeith for ancient 
papers connected with the Scotts of Thirlestane. Mr. Campbell's search was 
unsuccessful, and he assigns as a reason that "the Charter-room at Dalkeith is 
in such disorder that you may almost as soon find a pin in a bundle of straw as 
a particular paper in that room." During the century and more which has 
elapsed since Mr. Campbell's time, the Charter-room continued very much in 
the same state as that described by him, and that description will give some 
idea of the labour attending an exhaustive exploration of such a vast 
repository. The printing of the more important of the muniments, and the 
arrangement of the originals into volumes, all with complete indexes, will 
now make the contents of the Charter-room generally known, and render the 
originals readily accessible for consultation. The " disorder of the Charter- 
room" is thus remedied, and the printing of the charters will preserve the 
terms of them to all future time, even should any accident injure or destroy 
the originals. This good work is due to the enlightened liberality of his 
Grace the Duke of Buccleuch, who, in the midst of such a long, active, and 
philanthropic life as has been described in his memoir in this volume, has 
not forgotten to raise from the muniments of his family an enduring monu- 
ment to the energy and virtue of his noble ancestors. 


Edinburgh, 32 Castle Street, 
25th November 1S78. 




MURTHOCKSTON. Circa 1265-1320. 


"D ICHARD SCOTT of Rankilburn and Murthockston is the first regarding 

whom there exists certain evidence that he was an ancestor of the 

Scotts of Buccleuch. 

The lands of Murthockston, which were acquired by Richard Scott through 
his marriage with the heiress of that estate, are situated in the barony of 
Bothwell, in the county of Lanark. He was subsequently known as Richard 
Scott of Murthockston, afterwards Murdieston, and for several generations 
his descendants retained that designation until the lands of Murthockston 
were exchanged in 1446 for the half of the lands of Branxhohn in Teviotdale, 
the other half of which had been acquired by Robert Scott in the year 1420. 
Satchells in his History states that Richard Scott, previous to his marriage 
with the heiress of Murthockston, resided at Scotstoun Hall, in the county of 
Peebles, and that subsequent to that event he removed to Murthockston : — 
" Scott's Hall he left standing alone, 
And went to live at Mordistoun ; 
And there a brave house he did rear, 
Which to this time it doth appear." 1 
This subject is fully stated in the Introduction to this work. 
1 Satchells' History of the Name of Scot, p. 44. 
VOL. I. A 


According to Sir Walter Scott it was not till after this time that the Scotts 
assumed into their arms the bend of Murdieston, disposing thereon their own 
crescent and stars. Alluding to one of the members of the Harden branch 
of the Scotts, he says : — 

" An aged Knight, to danger steel'd, 
With many a moss-trooper, came on: 
The stars and crescent graced his shield, 
Without the bend of Murdieston." 1 

In the year 1700, the armorial bearings of Sir William Scott of Harden, as 
representative of the ancient family of Scott of Sinton, were matriculated by 
the Lyou-King-of-Arms, without the bend, as stated by Sir Walter Scott. B\rt 
the earlier seals of the Scotts of Sinton and Harden bear the bend, crescents, 
and star in the same way as the Scotts of Buccleuch. These early seals thus 
raise doubt about the alleged bend of Murdieston. 

The Scotts continued to be Barons of Murthockston till the reign of 
King James the Second, when Sir Walter Scott made an excambion of his 
lands of Murthockston and Hartwood, with Thomas Inglis of Manor, in the 
county of Peebles, for the second half of the lands of Brankishame, Goldylands, 
Quhitelaw, Quhiterigs, Todschawhil, and Todschawhauch, all in Teviotdale 
in the county of Roxburgh. 2 

The name of Eichard Scott seldom occurs in the history of the troublous 
times during which he lived. 

In the year 1296, when King Edward the First with a large army overran 
the greater part of the kingdom of Scotland, gathering in a harvest of 
homage from persons of all ranks, Richard Scott was among the number of 
those who submitted, and, on the 28th August 1296, he took the oath of 
fealty, 3 which was in the following terms : — 

I shall be true and loyal, and I will keep faith and loyalty to the King of 
England, and to his heirs, of life and of members, and of earthly honour, against 

1 Lay of the Last Miustrel, canto iv. 3 Ragman Rolls, p. 125, in which he is 

2 Vol. ii. p. 33 of this work. named "Richard Le Scot de Murthoxtoun." 


all persons who may live or die, and never will I bear arms for any one, nor will 
I give advice or aid against him nor against his heirs in any case which can 
happen, and I will truly acknowledge and truly perform the services which belong 
to the tenements which I claim to hold of him. So may God and the saints help 
me. In witness whereof we have caused these letters-patent to be made and 
sealed with our seals. 

The name of Eichard Scott of Murthockston is found amongst many 
others in the Eagman Eolls, which contain the names of those who made sub- 
mission to King Edward. 1 The exaction of such oaths formed part of the 
policy of the time when the country was at the mercy of the English king, 
when there had as yet arisen no leader around whom the patriotic Scots 
could rally, and their scattered bands thus united could make effectual resist- 
ance to the overwhelming army of Edward. 

The ceremony of doing homage seems to have been considered by those 
who performed it as an enforced oath, which they would be justified in treating 
as no longer binding when a fit opportunity presented itself for a successful 
and profitable violation of their promise. And in thus acting they had the 
authority and example of the clergy. During the contest against Edward, 
the oaths broken by the clergy were far in excess of those broken by 
laymen. Lamberton, Bishop of St. Andrews, took the oath of fealty several 
times, and Wisheart, Bishop of Glasgow, not fewer than six times. Both of 
those eminent prelates remained eventually on the patriotic side. 2 

As a consequence of Eichard Scott having sworn fealty to King Edward the 
Eirst, the Sheriff of Selkirk was ordered, on the 5th September 1296, to restore 

1 " When every one," says Chalmers, " was vol. ii. p. 981.) But to the three persons 

required to swear fealty to Edward I. in named must be added Richard Scott of Mur- 

1296, we see only three persons (in Selkirk- thockston, whose oath was probably taken in 

shire) who submitted to his will : Richard the county of Lanark. The name of Ricardus 

the vicar of Selkirk town, and John de Craik, Scotus appears without any territorial desig- 

and Cristine de Greenhead, 'del comite de nation in an undated roll of magnates who 

Selkirk.' — (Prynne, iii. 660-62.) From those submitted to Edward the First. — Palgrave, 

intimations we may perceive that there was Historical Documents, vol. i. p. 197. 

not any person of consequence in Selkirkshire 2 Palgrave, Historical Documents, vol. i. p. 

during those distressful times." — (Caledonia, clxii, et seq. 


to him his lands and rights, which were then in the hands of King Edward, 
and in which he was reinstated on being received into his Majesty's peace. 1 

The lands so restored were not those of Murthockston, which were 
situated in the county of Lanark. They were in the county of Selkirk, and 
we may conclude, almost with certainty, that Eankilburn and Buccleuch were 
the lands referred to in the warrant. 

The whole, or nearly the whole, of the Forest of Ettrick, in which the 
lands of Eaukilburn and Buccleuch were situated, comprehending the Forests 
of Selkirk and Traquair, called the " Forest of Selkirk," " Ettrick Forest," or 
simply " The Forest," was originally in the hands of the Crown. 

It is difficult to determine what were the precise limits of these royal 
domains. The earliest existing writs do not supply any definite boundary, 
as they refer to and define the marches of only limited portions of land within 
or adjacent to the Forest. That the Gala formed its north-eastern boundary 
may be inferred from a comparison of existing charters. 

A charter given by King David the First, about the middle of the twelfth 
century, afterwards confirmed successively by King Malcolm the Fourth, King 
William the Lion, King David the Second, and King Robert the Second, grants 
to the Monastery of Melrose all the easements, pasture, and wood in the Forest 
of Selkirk and Traquair, included within certain specified boundaries. The 

1 Rotuli Scotise, vol. i. p. 29. with the pertinents, if any be, which it is 

The following is a translation of the war- our will shall be retained in our hand. So 

rant, which is in Latin : — that he renders to us the services thence due 

The King to the Sheriff of . . . greeting. and wont. Retaining in our hand all the 

Whereas, . . . holding immediately of us lands and tenements which were seized 

in Chief, has come into our peace and made in our hands before he was come into our 

oath of fealty to us, we charge you that in- peace. 

continent ye restore and deliver to the said In presence of the King, at Berwick-on- 

... all his lands and tenements in our hands Tweed, 5th September 1290. 

that are in your bailliary which he so holds Similar letters were sent to the sheriffs of 

of us, and in which he was seized when he the different counties as warrants for resti- 

was received into our peace ; together with tution of the lands of those who had sub- 

the grain then being on the lands and mitted to King Edward, 
tenements : except castles and fortalices, 

ET TRICK FOREST, 1235-1296. 

lands are described as lying between the Gala and the Leader on the west and 
east, and between the Tweed and the borders of Lauderdale on the south and 
north. From the twelfth to the fourteenth centuries, the lands between the 
Gala and the Leader formed the subject of frequent disputes between the monks 
of Melrose and the Earls of March. The documents connected with these 
disputes show that during the periods to which they refer, excepting, perhaps, 
the reign of King David the First, the Gala was the north-eastern boundary 
of the Forest, nor does it appear to have subsequently extended farther in 
that direction. 1 

The south-east and southern boundary of the Forest is not so easily 
determined ; but there is reason to conclude that it was the river Ettrick 
from near its source to its confluence with the Tweed, the latter forming the 
continuation of the boundary to the mouth of the Gala. At some points in 
the course of the river Ettrick, the Forest, no doubt, extended beyond the right 
bank of that river. The boundaries seem, however, to have varied at different 
periods, and at one time appear to have nearly corresponded with the county of 
Selkirk, but excluding the burgh of Selkirk and the eastern portion of the county. 

In those clays, when so strong a passion for the chase existed among kings 
and nobles, the office of king's forester or ranger in a forest so extensive as that 
of Ettrick was a position of considerable importance. Sometimes the office 
was in the hands of one person, and at other times the forest was divided 
into wards. Each ward had its " currour " or ranger, and the districts under 
their charge corresponded with the valleys of the Tweed, the Ettrick, and the 
Yarrow. Each of these rangers had a forest " stead " appropriated to his use. 
In a setting of the forest lands, made at Peebles in 1484 by the Earl of 
Angus and other commissioners, the following entry occurs : — " Tinnis one 
stead in the hands of John Murray of Touchadam (for the ward of Yarrow) ; 
Cacrabank one stead in the hands of William Scott (for the ward of 
Ettrick) ; and Eedhead one stead in the hands of James Hoppringill (for the 
ward of Tweed)." 2 

1 Origines Parochiales, vol. i. p. 241. 2 Ibid. p. 246. 


In the year 1235 the office of king's forester or ranger was held by Nigel 
Heriz, — the ancestor of the Lords Hemes of Terregles, — and he seems to 
have also held the Eankilburn, which included the Easter and Wester 

In a charter by King Alexander the Second, dated at Selkirk on 21st 
February, in the twenty-second year of his reign, 1236, he grants and confirms 
to the Abbey of Melrose lands in the upper part of Ettrick and Yarrow, 
described as his whole waste contained within the marches therein written. 
These marches, as described in the charter, show that the lands of Buccleuch, 
now known as the Easter and Wester Buccleuchs, were at that time possessed 
by Nigel de Heriz, the king's forester, as a part of his lands of Eankilburn. 
The whole of the King's " waste " granted to the monastery was contained 
within the following boundaries, namely : — From the river Ettrick, ascending 
by the rivulet of Tima as far as the marches of Nigel de Heriz, thence 
ascending the water-course between Ettrick and Glenkery to the borders of 
Eskdale, and thence westward as far as the mountain called Vnhende. From 
that point the boundaries are continued to the head of Copthraweriscleuch 
and the greater lake, 1 and from thence by sundry places therein specified to 
the river Ettrick, and ascending along the course of that river as far as 
Tirnaniouth. 2 

According to this charter, the boundaries of the lands granted to the 
Abbey of Melrose are described as beginning at the confluence of the 
Tima with the Ettrick, and ascending the former of these streams to the 
point where the lands of Nigel de Heriz lie, thence passing westward along 
the water-course between the lands of Ettrick and Glenkery to the borders 
of Eskdale. It follows from this description that the lands of Nigel Heriz, 
which were on the east of the Tima, could be none other than those of 
Eankilburn, including the Buccleuchs and Glenkery, which last the monks 
of Melrose afterwards acquired for Bellenden. 

The name of " N. de Heris, Forestar," also appears in a precept of King 

1 Obviously St. Mary's Loch. 2 Munimenta de Melros, vol. ii. p. 666. 


Alexander the Second, in which he is instructed to " extend " and value the 
pasturage of Lethanhope. 1 

The office of king's forester was held in 1291 by Simon Fraser, who 
possessed much property and considerable power in the reign of King 
Alexander the Third in the shire of Peebles, of which he was sheriff. On 
the 1 2th of June in the same year he had sworn fealty to Edward the First at 
Berwick. 2 Simon Fraser died in 1 29 1, and King Edward the First, in January 
1291-2, committed the keeping of the forest of Selkirk and Traquair to 
William, son of John Cumyn ; and on 6th May 1292 he appointed Thomas 
de Burnham to be keeper of the Selkirk Forest, with the demesne lands 
belonging thereto. 3 In 1293 Alexander de Synton is mentioned as Sheriff of 
Selkirk — an office occasionally combined with that of Keeper of the Forest — 
under the same monarch. 4 

Assuming that the lands referred to in the warrant of King Edward the 
First in 1296, to which Bichard Scott was to be restored after taking his oath 
of fealty, were those of Bankilburn, including Buccleuch, they must have come 
into his possession soon after the Herries family ceased to be rangers of Ettrick 
Forest, that is, soon after the year 1249. But owing to the possession by the 
Scotts of Bankilburn of the estate of Murthockston, from which they took 
their territorial designation, it was only at the comparatively late date of 
1398 that Walter Scott adopted the designation of Murdieston and Bankil- 
burn, and his son and successor, Bobert Scott, was styled Lord of Bankilburn 
in the deed of excambion, in 1415, of Glenkery as a part of that property. 
In that excambion Bankilburn is treated as an hereditary possession of the 
Scotts, and not as a property recently acquired. 

It has been seen that when Bichard Scott swore fealty to King Edward 
the First, he was reinstated in his lands in the county of Selkirk. 5 There 

1 Cartulary of Neubotle, p. 90. 4 Origines Parochiales, vol. i. p. 246. 

2 -d , „ , ... .„_ 5 He is designated in the warrant for resti- 
- Rymer s Fcedera, vol. u. p. 567. ... llT >. f a , ,\, „ „, ,, 

tution "Kicardus Scot of Murthoxton, hold- 

3 Chalmers' Caledonia, vol. ii. p. 981. ing lands in the county of Selkirk. 


can be no doubt that these were the lands of Eankilburn and Buccleuch, and 
it is probable that they were held by him as ranger of the king's forest. 
They would be assigned to the new ranger as they had been to his predecessor, 
as being attached to the office, and, as in similar cases, the lands, although not 
originally held under a feudal title, would eventually become an hereditary 
possession. It is certain that at a later period the office of ranger was held 
by the family of Scott. 

The lands of Eankilburn and Buccleuch, dating their acquisition from 
the thirteenth century, are among the oldest territorial possessions of the 
family. A description of the Eankilburn, including the lands of Buccleuch, 
is given in the Introduction. 

Eankilburn was the earlier name given to the lands now called Buccleuch 
Easter and Wester. Buccleuch was originally only a part of the lands of 
Eankilburn, but in course of time the name of Eankilburn disappeared from 
the plans and rentals, and that of Buccleuch was substituted, owing, no 
doubt, to the mansion-house of the owner of Eankilburn having been erected 
at Buccleuch. Eankilburn was probably the name given to the lands at the 
date of the charter of 1235, to which reference has been made. 

Eobert Scott, the great-great-grandson of Eichard Scott of Murthockston, 
in 1415, is styled " Lord of Eankilburn ;" and Sir Walter Scott, the son of 
that Eobert Scott, is the first who is designated " Lord of Buccleuch," in 1431. 
David Scott, the son of Sir Walter, received a charter from King James the 
Third, in 1488, erecting Branxholm, Eankilburn, Kirkurd, and other lands 
into the free barony of Branxholm, without mentioning the name of the lands 
of Buccleuch, which were included under the larger description of Eankilburn; 
and the designation of " Scott of Branxholm " was thenceforward generally 
used, down to the time of the creation of Sir Walter Scott of Branxholm 
as Lord Scott of Buccleuch, when the designation of Buccleuch was 

The choice of the sinall " cleugh " as a designation, instead of the larger 
estate of Eankilburn, of which it is only a small part, was probably owing to the 


mansion-house having been built on Buccleuch, and the owner having come 
to be called Lord of Buccleuch, just as in the same way the new acquisition 
of Branxholm led for a time to the territorial designation of Branxholm being 
taken by several of the barons of Buccleuch, from their residence at Branxholm. 

Before the Beformation, the parish of Bankilburn was an independent 
parish and rectory within the diocese of Glasgow. It was afterwards for a 
time included in the parish of Yarrow, but in 1650 it was again disjoined, and 
united, civilly and ecclesiastically, to the parish of Ettrick. 

The parish of Bankilburn comprehended the lands between the Bankil- 
burn and the Tima, and also extended at some points on both sides of those 
streams. By a charter of excambion executed between Bobert Scott, Lord 
of Bankilburn, and the Abbot and monks of the Monastery of Melrose in 1415, 
the lands and tithes of Glenkery were exchanged for those of Bellenden, the 
tithes of the latter being appropriated to the parish church of Bankilburn. 

It is not known at what time the church of Bankilburn was built. 
It was probably of very ancient date, although it may not have had the 
origin attributed to it by Satchells, who states that it was built by the 
founder of the family in the reign of King Kenneth the Third. Satchells 
states that the burying-ground was still in use in his time : — 

" The house's ground-work yet is to be seen, 
And at that church I many times have been ; 
A burial place it yet keeps out 
For any poor folk that lies round about. 
To the paroch church it's long six mile, 
Therefore they bury yet to save travel ; 
My Guid-sir Satchels, I heard him declare 
There was nine Lairds of Buckcleugh buried there." 1 

The manor-house of Buccleuch has long since been levelled to the ground. 
The foundations were excavated some years ago and distinctly traced. 

1 Satchells' History of the Name of Scot, p. 41. 
VOL. I. B 


Eeference is made to the mansion in a decree of the Lords of Council, dated 
25th June 1494, which decerns two persons, both named William Douglas, 
to content and pay to Walter Scott of Buccleuch, grandson of umquhile David 
Scott, for certain goods " spuilzeit, distroyit, and taken be Simon Eoutlage in 
the Trowis, and Matthew Eoutlage, his son, and ther complicis, fra the said 
umquhile David and his tenentis, and as to the avale of the saidis goodis, 
and the dampnage and scaithis sustenit be the birnying of the place and 
manor of Bukcleuch," alleged to extend to 1000 merks. 1 

There also existed a mill on the Buccleuch burn. Satchells states that it 
was used 

" To grind dogs'-bran, though there grew no corn. 
All the corn I have seen there in a year 
Was scarce the sowing of six fiiiots of bear ; 
And for neighbours to come with good will, 
There was no corn to grind into that mill. 
If heather-tops had been meal of the best, 
Then Buckcleugh mill had gotten a noble grist." 2 

Although that was the case in Satchells' time, the condition of Buccleuch 
would be very different when it was the principal residence of the family. 
Eents would then, to a large extent, be paid in kind, and there would always 
be a considerable storage of grain at the manor-house. 

An account of the appearance of the district, and of the ruins of the 
ancient church, has been given in the Introduction. 

The Christian name of Eichard Scott, like that of his son Michael Scott, 
was not continued by the Scotts of Buccleuch, and, with the exception of 
Eichard Scott of Molle, who was also an early member of the Scott family, 
this is the only instance in which it occurs. 

Eichard Scott of Eankilburn, Buccleuch, and Murthockston died about 
the year 1320, and was succeeded by his son, Sir Michael Scott. 

1 Acta Dominorum Concilii, p. 338. 

2 Satchells' History of the Name of Scot, p. 42. 




OIR MICHAEL SCOTT succeeded his father, Richard Scott, as proprietor 
of Rankilburn and Murthockston, about the year 1320. The Chris- 
tian name of Michael had probably been bestowed on him from his alleged 
great-gran duncle, Michael Scott, who was the ancestor of the Scotts of 
Balwearie. In the line of Balwearie, the name of Michael was common, and 
one who bore it was the famous Michael Scott, who, on account of his 
learning, was called the Wizard. But in the line of Buccleuch the name 
of Michael appears to have been unpopular, as this is the only instance in 
which it is known to have been given. 

Sir Michael Scott had probably little time or opportunity to enjoy the 
sports which his forest estates afforded. He lived during the reign of King 
Robert the Bruce, and took an active part in the disastrous transactions 
which followed the death of that monarch. 

On the 6th of April 1320, which was about the time of the succession of 
Sir Michael Scott to his father Richard, the famous letter to Pope John xxil. 
was adopted by the Parliament which met at Arbroath. This remarkable 
document shows the spirit of independence which the barons of Scotland had 
derived from the brave King Robert the Bruce, and it displays a marked 
contrast to the fealty so generally enforced during the preceding reign. 

The letter to the Pope commences with a brief reference to the antiquity 
of the Scots nation, with its " uninterrupted succession of 1 1 3 kings." It 
then relates the ravages of King Edward, and his attempts to destroy the 


liberties of Scotland, until they were at last rescued under the leadership of 
King Eobert, to whom the Scots were resolved to adhere. " But, after all," 
it proceeds, " if this prince shall leave these principles he hath so nobly pur- 
sued, and consent that we, or our kingdom, be subjected to the king or people 
of England, we will immediately endeavour to expel him as our enemy, and 
as the subverter of his own and our rights, and will make another king, who 
will defend our liberties ; for so long as there shall but one hundred of us 
remain alive, we will never give consent to subject ourselves to the dominion 
of the English. For it is not glory, it is not riches, neither is it honour, but 
it is liberty alone that we contend and fight for, which no honest man will 
lose but with his life." His Holiness is then besought to " admonish and 
exhort the King of England " to suffer them to live in peace. " But if your 
Holiness shall be too credulous of the English misrepresentations, and not 
give firm credit to what we have said, nor desist to favour the English to our 
destruction, we must believe that the Most High will lay to your charge all 
the blood, loss of souls, and other calamities that shall follow on either hand 
betwixt us and them." 

From the patriotic part which this Lord of Murthockston played in the 
subsequent troubles of Scotland, in which he ultimately sacrificed his life, 
it cannot be doubted that he actively approved of this spirited remonstrance 
to the Pope. The result of it was an admonition to King Edward, which 
produced a cessation of the war for about two years, wheu Edward again 
invaded Scotland. The Scots retired on his approach beyond the Forth, and 
the English army, to escape starvation, were forced to return. It was during 
this retreat that they are charged with having destroyed the Abbeys of 
Holyrood, Dryburgh, and Melrose. 

In the pursuit of Edward's army and the invasion of England which im- 
mediately followed, it is more than likely that this Baron of Murthockston 
took part ; and also in the subsetpient invasion under Bandolph and Douglas 
in 1327. That he was actively engaged in the various battles of the War of 
Independence, is evident from the fact that he had the honour of knighthood 


conferred on him some time previous to the battle of Halidon Hill in 1333, 
at which he was present. 

On the death of King Eobert the Bruce in 1329, Sir Michael Scott of 
Murthockston supported the cause of his successor, King David the Second, in 
the troublous times that followed ; and fought in opposition to Edward Baliol, 
who, taking advantage of the minority of the King, — he being only eight years 
of age on his accession, — and making use of the various elements of discord 
which were let loose after the death of King Eobert the Bruce, resolved to lay 
claim to the throne as his rightful inheritance. Supported by a number of 
the barons who, holding estates in both countries, had fought on the English 
side, and consequently lost their Scotch lands, Edward Baliol landed in Fife- 
shire in August 1332 with an army of between three and four thousand men. 
The Scots army were encamped at Dupplin, in Strathearn, under Donald Earl 
of Mar, who had recently been appointed regent on the death of the previous 
regent, Bandolph Earl of Moray. But they were totally routed in a nocturnal 
attack, against which no provision had been made, and Edward Baliol 
was shortly afterwards crowned at Scone. His triumph had only a brief 

The civil war was now complicated by the breaking of the Treaty of 
Northampton, and an English army laid siege to Berwick, which was then in 
possession of the Scots. The Scots army attempted a diversion by resorting 
to their old tactics, and made a raid into England, but were not successful in 
inducing the English to raise the siege of Berwick, According to a practice, 
not uncommon in the warfare of those times, it had been agreed that the 
town and castle of Berwick were to be given up unless relieved before a 
certain fixed time. The Scots army recrossed the Tweed and found the 
English army posted at Halidon Hill, on the west of the town, protected by 
a morass which the Scots attempted to cross. This proceeding placed them 
at the mercy of the formidable English bowmen, the result being the almost 
total extermination of the Scots army. 

Sir Michael Scott was in the division of the army commanded by Archi- 


bald Douglas, Lord of Galloway, with the Earls of Lennox and Carrick, and 
was among the fortunate few who escaped the dreadful slaughter of that 
disastrous day. 

In the list of the names of those who were present at the battle of 
Halidon, Sir Michael Scott is placed among the knights, not with the batehe- 
lours or new-dubbed knights, so that he must have gained his knighthood 
some time previous to the battle — probably in the campaign which preceded 
the unfortunate battle of Dupplin. 1 

Sir Michael, along with the patriotic men who had determined not to 
submit to the government of a king who was a vassal of the King of 
England, only awaited a favourable opportunity to again declare their inde- 
pendence. Under Andrew Murray of Both well, William Douglas, Lord of 
Liddesdale, and other able captains, the whole of Scotland was a°-ain freed 
from the domination of the English, and the castles of Stirling, Edinburgh, 
and Boxburgh once more wrested from their hands. 

On the return of King David from his long exile, and while King Edward 
was occupied with the French war, it was determined to invade England, 
and a large army was assembled for that purpose. Sir Michael Scott of 
Murthockston accompanied the young King in this campaign, and lost his 
life in the cause which he had so faithfully supported. 

The Archbishop of York, with the assistance of Henry Percy and Sir 

1 Barnes, History of Edward in., p. 7S, quot- list of the division under the command of 

ing the MS. Vet. Ang. in Bibl. c.e.c.c. 224, Douglas differs somewhat from that of 

says:— "In the fourth ward of the army of Knighton, who gives the name of " W. 

Scotland were these lords, — Archibald Douglas, Scott." Lord Hailes, who follows Knighton's 

with his banner, the Earl of Lenox, Alexander List (Annals, vol. iii. p. 92), says : — " Perhaps 

Bruce, Earl of Fife, John Campbell, reputed it should be M., i.e. Michael (instead of W. 

Earl of Athol, Robert Sterenlow, William for William) Scott of Murthoekstone, now 

Vipount, Robert Lawether, John Lindsay, Murdieston, ancestor of the Duke of Buc- 

Alexauder Graham, Patrick Prollisworth cleuch." That Lord Hailes was correct in this 

(Polwarth), David Wimes, Michael Scott, surmise, is proved not only from the MS. quoted 

Thomas Bois, F^oger Mortimer, William Am- by Barnes, but by the subsequent appearance 

phraville, Thomas Vaux, William Landis of the name of " S r Michael Scott " among the 

(Landales), with 30 Batchelours," etc. This list of the slain at the battle of Durham. 


lialph Neville, speedily gathered together the whole strength of the north of 
England, and so well concealed their movements that the Scots army were 
unaware of their approach until the intelligence was brought by the fugitives 
of a body of troops which had advanced under Douglas, and had been 
surprised and defeated. The Scots army were in three divisions, one of which 
was commanded by the King in person. The battle took place near Durham, 
on the 17th October 1346, and was obstinately contested; but at length the 
deadly effect of the English arrows decided the day, and the Scots were 
completely defeated. The King, with a number of barons and knights, was 
taken prisoner. 

Among the names of the many Scots gentry who were killed at the 
battle of Durham, or Neville's Cross, we find that of Sir Michael Scott of 
Murthockston. 1 

Beyond the few and slight references to the warfare in which this second 
Baron of Murthockston was engaged, there is nothing known of his personal 
history. The name of his wife has not been ascertained. He was succeeded 
in the estates of Murthockston, Bankilburn and Buccleuch by his son 
Eobert Scott, who also inherited the lands of Kirkurd, in Peeblesshire. 

1 Barnes, p. 382. 




/^\N the death of his father, Sir Michael, at the battle of Durham, Robert 
Scott succeeded to the estates of Murthockston, Eankilburn, and 
Buccleuch. With this Baron we attain the certainty which is afforded 
by charter evidence. Besides his border lands and the Lanarkshire acquisition 
by marriage, he held the lands of Kirkurd, in Peeblesshire. By charter 
of King Robert the Second, dated 7th December 1389, which is noticed 
more fully in the succeeding chapter, Walter Scott, as son and heir of Robert 
Scott, then deceased, received a grant and confirmation of the superiority of 
the barony of Kirkurd, which had been long in the possession of the family 
of Scott. 1 

According to the tradition recorded by Satchells and Sir Walter Scott, 
the lands of Scotstoun and Kirkurd were possessed by the family of Scott 
as early as the days of Kenneth the Third. But that tradition is now incap- 
able of being instructed by strictly legal evidence. There is evidence, 
however, that these lands were in possession of the Scotts at a very 
early period. Thus about the year 1240, Christian, the daughter of Sir 
Adam Fitz-Gilbert, made a donation of her lands of Inglistoun, with all 
its rights, to the Chapel of St. Mary in the same land, reserving only to the 
men of Blyth, with their cattle, the easements, near the marches beside the 
water, which they were wont to have in the days of Adam the Scot and 
William the Bald, of good memory. 2 The water referred to is evidently the 
Tarth Water, which runs through Inglistoun and Kirkurd, and seems, at one 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 15. 2 Origines Paroohiales, vol. i. p. 1S9. 


part of its course, to have formed the boundary between these lands. As 
shown in the Introduction, Walter le Scot, in the year 1296, swore fealty to 
King Edward the First for lands in the shire of Peebles, 1 which were, no 
doubt, those of Scotstoun and Kirkurd, and he may have been a descendant 
of Adam le Scot just mentioned, but of this no evidence has been found. 

The charter of 1389 by King Robert the Second shows that in the four- 
teenth century the lands of Scotstoun and Kirkurd were held by the Scotts 
of Eankilburn and Murthockston. Robert Scott, the father of the grantee in 
the charter, and from whom these lands were then inherited, succeeded his 
father, Sir Michael Scott, in the year 1346, and the lands may have come 
into the possession of Robert Scott at or near that date. This would bring 
the succession to the Peeblesshire lands within fifty years of the time when 
they were held by the Walter le Scot who swore fealty in the year 1296, 
and who may have been an elder brother of Richard Scott of Eankilburn 
and Murthockston. It seems probable, therefore, that the line of Walter le 
Scot had failed, and that the Scotstoun and Kirkurd possessions passed to 
the nearest heir, Robert Scott, great-grandson of Richard Scott, the founder 
of the separate house of Rankilburn. The son of Robert Scott, who succeeded 
him in Rankilburn and Kirkurd, was named Walter Scott. The fact of his 
bearing the same christian name as the Lord of Kirkurd above mentioned, 
to whose lands he succeeded, makes it still more evident that there was a tie 
of kindred between the two families of Rankilburn and Peebles. And this 
agrees with the tradition extant in the time of Satchells, who says : — 

" The barony of Eward was Buckleugh's share, 
And yet they are superior. 

Over Eward and Nether Eward was ii? the barony, 
With Kirk-Eward, Lady Eward, and Loch Eward, all three, 
These towns most sweet, surround a pleasant hill, 
And Scotstoun hall doth join unto them still. 
It was in Kirk Eward parish then, 
But now it's in the paroch of Lintoun; 

1 Ragman Rolls, p. 144. 
VOL. I. C 


There is three towers in it was mounted high, 

And each of them had their own entry. 

A sally-door did enter on 

Which served all three, and no man kend 

When Buckleugh at Scots-hall kept his house. 

Then Peebles Church was his burial-place ; 

In the Cross-Kirk there has buried been, 

Of the Lairds of Buckcleugh, either six or seven." 1 

Even after the time to which Satchells here refers, the Scotts of Buccleuch 
continued to use the burial-place at the Cross-Kirk of Peebles. David Scott 
of Buccleuch, who died at Eankilburn in 1492, left instructions in his will 
that his body was to be buried in the Church of the Holy Cross at Peebles. 2 

Eobert Scott lived after the death of his father for the long period of forty 
years. Of his personal history, however, little is known. Whether he carried 
on the warlike policy of his father, which was continued by his successors, 
there is no record or tradition to show. Indeed there was, subsequent to the 
battle of Durham, little active warfare on the part of the Scots for a long 
period. The capture of the king and the heavy ransom which had to be paid 
on his release after a long captivity, together with the occupation of the 
south of Scotland by the English after the battle of Durham, had caused a 
lull in Scottish affairs which continued for a considerable time, so that even if 
Eobert Scott had inherited the warlike habits of his father, he would have 
had little opportunity for their display. He died near the date of the battle 
of Otterburn in 1388, which makes it not improbable that he may have 
been one of the Scots who fell with the Earl of Douglas in that victorious 
conflict. This Baron certainly died before the 7th December 1389, as the 
charter of that date, in favour of his son, states that he was Eobert Scott 
then deceased. 

1 Satchells' History of the Name of Soot, p. 44. 

2 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 92. 



MURTHOCKSTON. Circa 1389-1402. 

OIR WALTER SCOTT succeeded his father, Robert Scott, before the 7th 
December of the year 1389. As son and heir of Robert Scott, Sir 
Walter obtained from King Robert the Second, with consent of his eldest son, 
John, Earl of Carrick, Steward of Scotland, a charter, dated 7th December 
1389, of the superiority of the barony of Kirkurd, and five merks worth of 
land in that barony, in the shire of Peebles, to be held by him and his heirs 
of the king, and his heirs in feu and heritage, for payment of a silver penny 
in name of blench farm at Whitsunday yearly at Peebles, if asked only. 1 
From the terms of that charter it appears that the barony of Kirkurd formerly 
belonged to Robert Scott, the father of Sir Walter Scott, as the latter obtained 
the charter of the superiority as son and heir of Robert Scott. Although the 
charters of Kirkurd anterior to that by King Robert the Second are lost, 
and the precise period of the acquisition of Kirkurd and the other Peebles- 
shire estates of the Buccleuch family cannot now be ascertained, these 
properties, which still belong to the Duke of Buccleuch, were amongst the 
earliest acquired possessions of the Scott family, earlier even than Rankil- 
burn and Buccleuch ; and for many generations the descendants of this Sir 
Walter Scott of Kirkurd frequently adopted the territorial designation of 
Scott of Kirkurd. 

By a letter of King Robert the Second, dated at Edinburgh, 20th Feb- 
ruary, in the seventeenth year of his reign (1387) — that is, nearly three years 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 15. 


previous to the date of the charter above described — the lands of Kirkurd, 
which formed part of the barony of Dalkeith, the property of Sir James of 
Douglas of Dalkeith, knight, which the king, his brother-in-law, had granted 
to him under the Great Seal, were, along with the other lands included in 
that barony, excepted from the administration and intromissions of the 
king's justiciars, sheriffs, and other officers. 1 

Part of the lands of Kirkurd, in the parish of Kirkurd, belonged to the 
family of Cockburn of Henderland, who were formerly of considerable 
importance in the shire of Peebles, and intermarried with their neighbours, 
the Scotts of Kirkurd. John of Craik received from Edward of Cockburn, in 
marriage, the half of the barony of Urde, and a boundary charter thereof was 
granted to him by King Eobert the First. 2 

In the year 1379 a charter was granted by King Eobert the Second to 
Peter of Cokburne, the son and heir of Peter of Cokburne, of the lands of 
Henriland (Henderland), and the lands in the township of Bothill, and the 
lands of Kyrkhurde, in the township of the same. 3 

These grants to Sir James Douglas and to the Cockburns were of parts 
of the lands of Kirkurd, while the charter to Sir Walter Scott contained 
the superiority of the barony of Kirkurd. His descendants have con- 
tinued to be the overlords of the lands of Kirkurd, as well as proprietors of 
portions of the property or dominium utile. The lands of Kirkurd, both those 
belonging to the Duke of Buccleuch and Sir William Henry Gibson Car- 
michael of Castle Craig, are intermixed and are still runrig, that is, alternate 
rigs belong to each owner. 

In 1398 Walter Scott of Murdieston and Eankilburn was one of the 
Border Barons who were bound to keep the peace of the Borders. He is also 
mentioned as the owner of a large tract of country lying chiefly between the 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 14. the ruins about the middle of last century 

2 Robertson's Index, p. 24. were sculptured a cross and sword with the 

3 Registrum Magni Sigilli, p. 163, No. 11. legend — "Here lyes Perys of Cokburne and 
Henderland is upon the side of the Loch his wyfe Marjory." — (Origines Paroehiales, 
of St. Mary. On a tombstone found in vol. i. p. 223.) 


Eankilburn on the east and the Tima water on the west, but partly extend- 
ing both east and west beyond both. 1 

Like his grandfather, Sir Michael Scott, this Walter was also a brave 
knight, who took an active part both in the civil and military affairs of his 
country, and like him fell in defence of its liberties. 

From the exposed condition of his estate of Eankilburn and others on 
the Scottish Borders, and from the disturbed state of the country, it was the 
interest of Sir "Walter to promote measures for the maintenance of friendly 
relations between Scotland and England, and for the preservation of tran- 
quillity on the Borders. Efforts to that end were made in the year 1398. In 
the month of March a convention was held at Haldane, or, as it is popularly 
called, Haudenstank, in the parish of Sproustoun and shire of Eoxburgh, 
and in the month of October of the same year a second meeting took place, 
at which the King of England and the King of Scotland were represented by 
commissioners. Amongst the Articles agreed on was the following : — That in 
regard a great many Scotsmen born had settled themselves on the marches 
of England, and had sworn fealty to the Crown of England ; and in the like 
manner a great many Englishmen born had settled themselves on the 
marches of Scotland, and had sworn fealty to the Crown of Scotland, and 
that both these were notoriously known to be the principal authors of all the 
disturbances that happened in those parts, it was ordained that the Scotsmen 
born should remove to the south side of the river Tyne, and the English as 
far north as the town of Edinburgh. 

The wardens of the marches became bound to fulfil the stipulations of this 
convention — Sir Henry Percy for the marches of England, and the Earl of 
March for the marches of Scotland. The " borowis " or cautioners on the 
Scots side were Sir Richard Rutherford, Sir William Stewart, Thomas 
Turnbull, Robert Lawder, and " Walter Scott, borowis for the Erlis boundis 
of Douglas of the mydil niarche." 2 

1 Origines Parochiales Sootiae, vol. i. pp. 243 and 265, quoting Rymer, vol. viii, p. 54 ; 
Fordun, vol. ii. p. 434, and Lib. xiv. c. 14. 2 Kymer's Fcedera, vol. viii. p. 54. 


This settlement had, however, but a short duration, and during the dis- 
turbances in England, consequent on the deposition of Bichard the Second 
and the accession of Henry the Fourth, the Scottish borderers invaded 
England, destroyed the castle of Wark, and laid waste the surrounding 
country. On the subsequent invasion of England by Archibald, fourth Earl 
of Douglas, which resulted in the battle of Homildon, Sir Walter Scott 
was one of the brave border barons who were killed on that disastrous field. 1 

Douglas had, besides his own levies, a considerable force sent by Eobert, 
Duke of Albany, under the Duke's eldest son, Murdoch ; and with the forces 
under the Earls of Angus and Moray, his army numbered about ten thousand 
men. The Earl of Northumberland, with his son, Henry Percy, the renowned 
Hotspur, and the Earl of March, who now adhered to the English party, 
collected a numerous army, and awaited the return of the Scots. Douglas 
took a strong position at Homildon Hill, in Northumberland. It is said that 
Percy was about to lead his men up the hill to attack the Scots, but was 
dissuaded from doing so by the Earl of March, who advised him to send a 
shower of arrows among the enemy. This advice was followed, and with 
fatal effect ; and, as at the previous battle at Halidon Hill, the contest was 
decided by the English bowmen. An attempt was made by Swinton, one of 
the most valiant of the knights, to retrieve the fortunes of the day, but he 
was only followed in his charge by about a hundred men. The remainder 
of the Scots army was thrown into confusion by the continuous flight 
of arrows, and completely routed. 

The name of the wife of Sir Walter has not been ascertained. He was 
succeeded in Murthockston, Eankilburn, Buccleuch, Kirkurd, etc., by his 

1 Pinkerton's History, vol. i. pp. 72-74. 



MUETHOCKSTON 1402-1426. 

f\N the death of his father, Sir Walter Scott, at Homildon, Eobert Scott 
became proprietor of the family estates of Eankilburn, including Buc- 
cleuch, and also of Murthockston and Kirkurd. 

Under the designation of Lord of Murthoustoun, and of the barony of 
Kirkurd, Eobert Scott confirmed by a charter, dated at Murthoustoun, 18th 
February 1406-7, a charter of alienation, therein transcribed and dated July 
1406, granted by Thomas Fraser, proprietor of half of the lands of Ledyurde, 
son and heir of the deceased Marjory of Farle, to John of Geddes, of half of 
all the lands of Ledyurde, lying within the barony of Kirkurde and sheriffdom 
of Peebles, to be held a se of Eobert Scott, lord superior of the barony of 
Kirkurde, by rendering at Whitsunday and Martinmas to the said lord 
superior and his heirs the services due and wont only. 1 

As Lord of Eankilburn, Eobert Scott exchanged the lands of Glenkery, 
being a portion of his lands of Eankilburn, for the lands of Bellenden, 
then held by the monks of Melrose, the granter reserving right to fish and 
hunt on Glenkery. The original instrument of excambion forms part of 
the great collection of charters of the Abbey of Melrose. These charters 
were acquired through the purchase of the lordship and Abbey of Melrose 
by a descendant of this Lord of Eankdburn, Anna Duchess of Buccleuch 
and Monmouth. The present representative of the Duchess was the first who 
obtained possession of the collection of Melrose charters, and his Grace printed 

1 Original charter at Castle Craig. The and on the upper part of the bend a mullet, 
seal of Eobert Scott is still appended and which is repeated in the sinister chief point, 
entire : A bend charged with two crescents, 


them in two quarto volumes, which were presented to the members of the 
Bannatyne Club in the year 1837. The charter of excambion between Eobert 
Scott and the monks of Melrose is in Latin, and the following is a translation : 
— " At the Monastery of Melrose, 2 8th May 1415, Eobert Scot, Lord of Bankel- 
burne, with the consent of Walter Scot, his son and heir, granted, and by the 
title of permutation delivered and confirmed this donation, grant, and permuta- 
tion, by the present writing, to God and the blessed Mary of the Monasteiy 
of Melrose, and to the monks there serving God, and who will serve Him for 
ever, all his lands of Wynzchope westward of the water of Temay, which are 
called Glenkery, lying within the shire of Selkirk, between the said monks' 
lands of Mighope on the one side, and the lands of Etterick on the other ; 
and the lands of Dalgles on the west, descending a certain rivulet to the 
water of Temay, and beyond the said water, ascending the boundary between 
Wynzchope and the lands of Dalgles on the east side of the foresaid water 
of Temay, as far as a certain ditch surrounding twelve acres of meadow 
(which he also gave to the said monks) northwards ; and again descending 
westwards to the said water of Temay, and thence descending the same to 
the marches of the lands of Migehope above mentioned, to be held and had by 
the foresaid monks and their monastery, with the same twelve acres of 
meadow, the granter reserving to himself and his heirs liberty of fishing and 
hunting within the lands of Glenkery : Also, for the lands of Bellenden, lying 
within the shire of Selkirk, with the pertinents given to me and my heirs in 
exchange for the lands of Glenkery, reserving also the liberty of fishing and 
hunting to the same monks and their assignees, one or several, at their plea- 
sure for ever, in the lands of Bellenden, with the pertinents. I also promise, 
for me and my heirs and assignees, and by these presents grant, that all and 
sundry the tithes of the lands of Glenkery, with the pertinents, and the twelve 
acres of meadow before mentioned may, from the date of these presents, as well 
present as future, be appropriated for ever, and paid to the Monastery of Melrose 
before written, at the times due and wont for paying tithes, as the evidences 
made thereupon more fully testify, for all and sundry the tithes of the lands 


of Bellenden, in the mode and form before touched upon, to be appropriated for 
ever and paid to the parochial church of Kankilburn, according to the mutual 
consent of the above-mentioned monks and of the rector of the said church," 
the Bishop of Glasgow, with his chapter, consenting to and confirming it. 
Among the witnesses was Archibald Douglas, Sheriff of Teviotdale. 1 ■ 

That excambion was confirmed by Peter Cockburn of Henderland, as 
superior of the lands of Glenkery, in the following terms : — At Melrose, 18th 
June 1415, Peter of Kokburne, Lord of Henryland, having seen and inspected 
certain charters or letters of permutation of the lands of Glenkery, and 
twelve acres of meadow held of him, with the lands of Bellyndene, between 
a reverend father in Christ, Lord David, Abbot of the Monastery of Melrose, 
and the Convent of the same, on the one part, and a noble man, Eobert Scot, 
Lord of Bankilburn, on the other, for ever, not rased nor abolished, nor in 
any part suspected : he approved and ratified the permutation of the said 
lands of Glenkery and twelve acres of meadow, and the foresaid letters and 
charters, in all their points and articles, made thereupon for him and his 
heirs for ever. 2 

The lands of Bellenden which were thus acquired by this Lord of Eankil- 
burn from the Abbot of Melrose became the place of rendezvous of the 
Scotts of Buccleuch when they were preparing for battles or border raids. 
Bellenden was considered a convenient spot for the gathering of the clan 
from Ettrick, Kirkurd, and Murthockston. 

" Whitslade the Hawk, and Headshaw came, 
And warriors more than I may name ; 
From Yarrow-cleugh to Hindhaugh-swair, 

From Woodhouselie to Chester-glen, 
Troop'd man and horse, and bow and spear, 

Their gathering word was Bellenden." 3 

'Original Charter amongst the Melrose Char- 3 Lay of the Last Minstrel, Canto iv. 

ters. Printed in Liber de Melros, vol. ii. p. 547. Satehells makes use of the word in the first 

2 Original Charteramongstthe Melrose Char- part of his History, which he names "Watt's 

ters. Printed in Liber de Melros, vol. ii. p. 550. Bellanden," or gathering of the Scotts. 
VOL. I. D 


The Bellenden banner is still preserved amongst the trophies of the 
Buccleuch family. It bears the stars and crescents, with a stag trippant, 
surmounted by an Earl's coronet, and the words " A. bellendatne " on a 
field azure. This was probably the standard of Earl Walter, mentioned by 
Sir James Balfour as having been carried at the funeral of the Earl in 1634, 
and would no doubt be copied from the more ancient banner, which had 
been borne in many a border fray. 1 It was displayed on a more peaceful 
occasion in the year 1815, rendered memorable by a poetical contest between 
Sir Walter Scott and James Hogg, the Ettrick Shepherd, who produced odes 
on the "lifting of the banner," which will be found in a future chapter. 

The notice of the church of Bankilburn in the instrument of permutation 
in 1415 is perhaps the earliest mention of that church, which was compre- 
hended in the diocese of Glasgow. It is not mentioned in Baiamond's Boll, 
or in any of the earlier charters. In 1453, in a roll of Bachelors entered in 
the newly-founded University of Glasgow, we find " Dominus Jacobus 
Spottiswood, rector ecclesiae de Kankelburn." At the period of the Beforma- 
tion it had so far declined, both civilly and ecclesiastically, that it was united 
at different times with one or more of the old parishes, and although thus under 
charge of a minister, was not considered as requiring the services of a reader. 2 
In the Libellus Taxationum, the rectory is valued at £6, 13s. 4d. 

Besides Bellenden, this Lord of Bankilburn also acquired the half of the 
lands of Branxholm, and other lands in the barony of Hawick. These lands, 
along with the other half of Branxholm, acquired by his son, Sir Walter 
Scott, in the next generation, were erected into a barony, and became one of 
the principal residences of the Buccleuch family. 

The acquisition of the first half of Branxholm was made from John Inglis, 
lord of Menar, who by a charter, dated at the church of Menar on 31st 
January 1420, granted to Bobert Scott, Lord of Murthockston, the half of the 
lands of Branxholm, namely, from the rivulet of Branxholm to the water of 

1 Heraldic Tracts, p. 109. 

2 Books of Assignations, quoted in Origines Parochiales Scotiae, vol. i. p. 265. 





Borthwick, and as the water of the Teviot runs, with the lands and houses of 
Steyl, and the half of the broad meadow towards the lands of Steyl, with the 
half of the meadow of Lonnhyll, and the lands of Holstruther, on the west 
side of the Syke, running down from the Kirkland ; the half the lands of 
Meyrle, and the two land cottages on the west side of the said rivulet of 
Branchsemell, in the barony of Hawick, in the shire of Eoxburgh. The 
lands were to be held by Eobert Scott and his heirs of the granter and his 
heirs, in feu and heritage for ever, for payment yearly in the church of 
Hawick, on the Feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, of a silver 
penny in name of blench farm, if asked only, for all other service. 1 

The lands of Borthwick, which formerly belonged to the Monastery of 
Melrose, were in the possession of the predecessors of Bobert Scott. At 
Edinburgh, on 4th July 1410, the lands of " Borthwick and Thoft Cotys " were 
resigned by Eobert Scott into the hands of Eobert, Duke of Albany, Governor 
of Scotland, who granted them to Sir William of Borthwick, to be held by 
him " as freely as the foresaid Eobert Scot or his predecessors held the lands 
with the pertinents of the king and his predecessors." 2 

Among the last affairs transacted by Eobert Scott was his resignation, in 
the year 1426, of the lands of Lempidlaw in favour of his son and heir, 
Walter Scott, who was then designated " Armiger." On 2d July in that 
year, Walter Scott obtained, on the resignation of his father, a charter of 
these lands, with the tenants and tenandries thereof, in the regality of 
Sprouston and shire of Eoxburgh, from Archibald, fifth Earl of Douglas, the 
superior, for his service rendered and to be rendered to the granter, to be 
held by Mm and his heirs in feu and heritage for ever, for payment yearly 
of one penny of silver at the feast of St. John the Baptist in name of blench 
farm, if asked only. It is dated at the manor of Edibredeschelis. Among 
the witnesses were James, afterwards seventh Earl of Douglas, the granter's 
uncle, Sir John Cockburn of Ormiston, and Alexander de Moravia of Cranstoun. s 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 22. 2 Registrum Magni Sigilli, p. 246, No. 7. 

3 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 24. 


Whether Eobert Scott was the first of his family who acquired the lands 
of Lempidlaw, or inherited them from his ancestors, does not appear. They 
still form a portion of the Buccleuch estates. 

By a retour of his son Walter as heir to him in the lands of Elerig, in the 
barony of Hawick, dated 27th February 1426-7, we learn that Eobert Scott 
died eight days before Martinmas preceding. 

Eobert Scott was succeeded in the estates of Eankilburn, Buccleuch, 
Murthockston, and others, by his son, Sir Walter Scott. 

He had also a son named Stephen, who obtained from John Burel of 
Ekfurd, burgess of Edinburgh, a charter, dated at Edinburgh 14th April 
1448, of the granter's lands of the Burellands, in the barony of Ekfurd, in the 
shire of Eoxburgh, for a certain sum of money paid to the granter in his 
great and urgent necessity by Stephen Scott, to be held from the granter 
and his heirs of the Lord Baron of Ekfurd and his heirs in feu and heritage 
for ever, for rendering annually to the Lord Baron and his heirs one silver 
penny at the feast of Pentecost, in name of blench farm. 1 

These lands were, on the same day, resigned by Burel into the hands of 
the king as lord superior, who, on the 18th of the same month, confirmed the 
grant to Stephen Scott of the Burellands, to be held of the Crown in feu and 
heritage for ever. 2 

Stephen Scott, in an instrument of transumpt dated 15th August 1445, 
is styled " of Castlelaw." He acted as procurator for his brother, Walter 
Scott of Buccleuch, Knight. 8 

Among the Buccleuch muniments there are several charters and other 
documents connected with Stephen Scott of Muirhouse, and his son and 
grandson. He lived about the time of Stephen Scott of Castlelaw, and may 
have been the same, but there is no certain evidence to identify them. The 
writs referred to are printed in the second volume of this work. Stephen 
Scott of Muirhouse, on 5th March 1462, resigned in favour of Eobert Mure 
of Eowallan the lands of Dridane, Colmanside, and Over Harwood, in the 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 37. 2 Ibid. p. 38. 3 Ibid. p. IS. 


barony of Hawick. 1 On 2d March 1505, George Scott, grandson of Stephen, 
compeared in the Sheriff-Court at Edinburgh in reference to a brieve or 
inquest by which he claimed the lands of Murehouse. He was opposed by 
Patrick, Earl of Bothwell, who alleged that Eobert Scott, the father of George, 
did not die seised as of fee in the said lands, and also disputed the claim on 
account of certain irregularities. 2 

By an Act of Privy Council dated 16th January 1508, John Mure, grand- 
son of Eobert Mure of Bowallan, is ordained to grant warrandice to George 
Scott, and make free to him heritably the lands of Dridane, etc., which had 
been sold to Stephen Scott, his grandfather. 3 On 7th January 1510, George 
Scott of Quhammys granted a discharge to John Mure for the sum of forty 
pounds and 14 nierks Scots for the warrandice of the foresaid lands, which 
sums George Scott had obtained against him before the Lords of Council. 4 
1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 59. - Ibid. p. 107. 3 Ibid. p. 1 15. 4 Ibid. p. 121. 

(JbVk+Q &xrcc S£u$ £q, {jfawSAXmyw,- 






MAEGAEET COCKBUEN of Henderland, his wife. 

f\N the death of Eobert Scott, in 1426, he was succeeded by his eldest son, 
Walter Scott, who was the first of the family formally styled "Lord of 
the Buccleuch;" and that designation, first applied to him, was generally 
adopted by his successors. He possessed the family estates for the long 
period of forty-three years, and was successful in adding many new estates 
to the old. 

Besides adding largely to his territorial possessions, Sir Walter Scott 
added to the renown of the family for great prudence, devoted loyalty, and 
distinguished courage. These qualities were all well tried in the many 
struggles which took place in the reigns of the first, second, and third 
James, and particularly in the rebellions of the Earls of Douglas. It will 
be seen that Sir Walter Scott took a very prominent and successful part in 
counteracting the powerful Earls, and that for these services he was re- 
warded by grants of many lands by his sovereigns. 

One of the earliest exploits of this Lord of Buccleuch was the capture of 
Gilbert Eutherford, a noted reiver, who had annoyed the border land in the 
reign of King James the First. During the long captivity of James in 
England, many parts of Scotland suffered from the absence of the sovereign, 
and none perhaps more so than the Borders. A special object of the king, 



after his return to his kingdom, was to give security to life and property, and 
encouragement to industry and the arts of peace, by the enforcement of the 
laws. He succeeded in a great measure in accomplishing these designs. 
"The people," says Bower, the continuator of Fordun, "then sat in the 
opulence of peace, secure from ravages, elate in heart, and tranquil in mind ; 
because the monarch had wisely expelled quarrels and rapine from the State, 
had appeased discord and reconciled enmity." 1 

As a reward for his intrepid and effective services in furthering these 
important objects, and particularly in the capture of Gilbert of Eutherfurde, 
Sir Walter Scott obtained from King James the First a grant of the 
Mains of Eckfurd, in the shire of Eoxburgh. But the king was prevented 
from completing the grant by his assassination in the Dominican Monastery 
at Perth, in the forty-fourth year of his age and the thirty-first of his nominal 
reign, though only the thirteenth of the actual exercise of his regal power. 

King James the Second, the only son of King James the First, was born 
in October 1430, and succeeded his father, 21st February 1436-7, when little 
more than six years of age. Instead of being crowned at Scone, he was, for 
greater security, and also to avoid the locality of his father's death, conveyed 
from the Castle of Edinburgh to the Abbey of Holyroodhouse, where he was 
crowned with great magnificence and rejoicing, on 25th March following, by 
the Parliament which had been called in his name a month after the murder 
of his father. 2 

The reward which the late king had promised to Sir Walter Scott for his 
services was bestowed by King James the Second, who promptly completed 
the grant of his father of the lands of Eckfurde, by a charter under the 
Great Seal, dated at Stirling, on the 3d of May 1437, in the first year of his 
reign. 3 

The Manor of Eckfurde included the East and West Mains called Woddon. 

1 Bower, p. 510. 

2 Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, vol. ii. p. 31. 

3 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 30. 


In that charter Sir Walter Scott is styled Knight, a title which had been 
conferred on him between the 13th March 1436, when he is named and 
designated "Walter Scott of the Bukcluche," 1 and the 3d of May following. 
It is probable that at the coronation of King James the Second the honour 
of knighthood, as was customary on such occasions, was conferred on a 
number of persons of consideration, and that Walter Scott of Buccleuch 
was one of those who were then knighted. 

Passing over for the present many of the dealings of Sir Walter Scott 
with his territorial possessions, which may be postponed to the sequel of this 
memoir, his acquisition of Branxholm may here be explained. 

After long experience of the Borders, from his having possessed his 
Buccleuch estates for upwards of twenty years, far from tiring of them Sir 
Walter Scott was glad of an opportunity of extending his Border posses- 
sions. For this object an opportunity soon occurred. He was proprietor of 
Murthockston, as inherited from his ancestors. He was also proprietor of 
one half of the lands of Branxholm, which had been acquired by his father. 
One of the neighbours of Sir Walter Scott at his barony of Kirkurd, in 
Peeblesshire, Thomas Inglis of Manor, was proprietor of the other half of 
Branxholm, and complained to Sir Walter Scott of the depredations 
committed on his lands of Branxholm by the frequent incursions of the 
English Borderers. Scott offered to exchange with him his lands of 
Murthockston for Branxholm, if Inglis thought that would improve his 
position. The offer was accepted. AVhen the bargain was completed, Scott 
made the significant remark that " the Cumberland cattle were as good as 
those of Teviotdale." This exchange of lands, and the traditionary reasons 
which induced it, were quite characteristic of the courageous qualities of Sir 
Walter Scott. His ancestors, as well as himself and his descendants, 
nurtured on the Borders, acquired a spirit of daring and adventure which was 
frequently of service to the State, and by which they were enabled success- 
fully to hold their own against the English. 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 30. 


The exchange was made in the year 1446. On 23d July of that year, 
Sir Walter obtained from Thomas Ingiis a charter of the lands of Brankis- 
hame, Todschawhil, and Todschawhauch, Goldylandis, Qukitlaw, and Quhite- 
ryg, with a fourth part of the lands of Overharwode, in the barony of 
Hawick, in the shire of Eoxburgh, in exchange for the lands of Murthous- 
toun and Hertwod, in the barony of Bothwell, in the shire of Lanark : to be 
held — with the superiority of certain lands of Kirkton belonging to the 
granter — from the granter, of the Lord Baron of Hawick, in feu and heritage 
for ever, for rendering annually the service use and wont. 1 

William, eighth Earl of Douglas and fifth Duke of Touraine, was the 
feudal superior of the lands of Branxholni, as part of his barony of Hawick, 
and he confirmed the excambion by a charter of the same date as the charter 
of excambion now quoted. 2 

A relationship of kindred between this Lord of Buccleuch and his cousin, 
Sir William Crichton of that Ilk, Knight, led to a political connection 
between them which had important results for both the knightly cousins. 
Crichton became the head of a powerful faction in the State. 

In the reign of King James the First, Crichton's name for the first time 
appears among the barons who met that King at Durham in 1424, on his 
return from his long captivity in England. 3 He was honoured with knight- 
hood on the coronation of that monarch in the same year. Two years after- 
wards he was one of the commissioners who negotiated a treaty with Eric, 
King of Denmark, and on his return he was made one of the King's Privy 
Council, and Master of the Household. 

In acknowledgment of the services which Sir Walter Scott rendered 
to him, and to secure" their continuance, Crichton conferred upon him solid 
advantages. For his homas;e and service rendered and to be rendered in his 
lifetime, Crichton granted to Sir Walter Scott, who is designated " Valtero 
Scot de la Bukcluche," a charter, dated at the Castle of Edinburgh, 13th 
March 1436, of the lands of Grymislaw, in the shire of Eoxburgh, held in 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 33. 2 Ibid. p. 34. 3 Rymer's Fcedera, vol. x. p. 309. 

VOL. I. E 



chief of the barony of Creichtoun, in the shire of Edinburgh, to be held of 
the granter for rendering yearly a suit of court at his head court, held next 
after Pasch (Easter) at the chief place of the barony of Creichtoun, with 
wards and reliefs when they occur, only.i 

But Crichton, from the engrossment of other affairs and becoming soon 
involved in trouble, did not grant a precept for infefting Sir Walter Scott in 
these lands till three years after the date of the charter. Between the date 
of the charter and the date of the precept, the honour of knighthood was 
conferred on Sir "Walter Scott, and in the precept he is styled, knight. The 
precept is dated at Edinburgh, 7th March 1439. The seal of arms of 
Crichton is still appended to that precept, and an engraving is given of it in 
this work. It is remarkable as having a single supporter, a lady attired in 
a flowing dress. 2 

At the commencement of the reign of King James the Second, efforts were 
made by those intrusted with the administration of public affairs to secure 
peace between Scotland and England. To accomplish this object, commis- 
sioners were appointed to proceed to England to meet with those appointed 
by Henry the Sixth of England ; and they negotiated matters so successfully 
that, by a truce, concluded 31st March 1438, at London, not only was the truce 
already in existence maintained, but it was to continue in force for nine years 
longer, commencing from the 1st of May 1438, and to last till the 1st of May 
1447. Sir Walter Scott, knight, was one of the conservators of the truce on 
the part of Scotland, being associated with Archibald Duke of Touraine and 
Earl of Douglas, the Earls of Angus and Crawford, the Lords Gordon, Dirleton, 
Somerville, Herries, Carlaverock, Montgomery, Crichton, Hales, Sir Archi- 
bald Douglas, Sheriff of Teviotdale, and Sir Thomas Kilpatrick. 3 

Soon after another congress was appointed to be held for fixing the limits 
or marches of the two kingdoms, and the conservators were the same as 
those now named. 4 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 30. 
- Ibid. p. 32. 

3 Rotuli Scotise, vol. ii. p. 310 n . 
1 Rymer's Foedera, vol. x. p, 695. 


During the struggle with the powerful house of Douglas, which culmi- 
nated in its destruction, Sir Walter Scott loyally supported the cause of the 
King ; and as his efforts had an important influence on the future of the 
house of Buccleuch, a brief sketch may here be given of the position of 
the opposing parties in Scotland during the time in which Sir Walter 

Peace had been secured with England, but the intrigues of Sir William 
Crichton, the Chancellor, and Sir Alexander Livingstone, for the possession 
of the person of the young king, produced a state of anarchy in Scotland 
which continued during the minority of King James the Second. The Queen, 
after the murder of her husband, took refuge with her child in the Castle of 
Edinburgh ; but becoming distrustful of Crichton, who was then Governor of 
the Castle, she, by a clever stratagem, succeeded in conveying the young 
king to Stirling Castle, which was then in the hands of Livingstone. An 
arrangement was subsequently made between the two rivals, by which the 
guardianship of the king was intrusted to Livingstone, while Crichton re- 
tained the office of Chancellor. The Chancellor, however, was not content 
to share his power with Livingstone, and made overtures to Archibald, fifth 
Earl of Douglas and Duke of Touraine, which were haughtily repelled. 
The answer of Douglas was that " the Governour and Chancellor were both 
alike false, covetous, and ambitious ; that their contentions were not of 
vertue, or for the good of the country, but only for their own particular 
quarrels and private commodity, in which contention it was no great 
matter which of them overcame, and if both should perish, the country were 
the better." 1 

Whatever truth there may have been in this reply, it was certainly 
indiscreet, for its effect was to unite together the interests of the Chancellor 
and Livingstone, who made every effort to crush the House of Douglas, which 
was then at the height of its power. Earl Archibald died in 1438, but the 
vengeance of the Chancellor fell on his son and successor, who, with his 

1 Godscroft's History of the House of Douglas, p. 142. 


brother, was treacherously beheaded in Edinburgh Castle, where he had gone 
by invitation to visit the young king. The Douglas estates were not at 
that time forfeited, but their unity was broken by the unentailed estates 
falling; to Margaret, the sister of the murdered Earl. The estates were sub- 
sequently reunited by the marriage of Margaret with her cousin, William, 
the eighth Earl of Douglas, and afterwards to his brother and successor, 

The fate of William, the eighth Earl, was no less tragic than that of his 
cousins. Induced to a personal conference with the king at Stirling Castle, 
and, it is said, guaranteed by a safe-conduct subscribed by the king and 
several of the nobles, he was there slain by the hand of King James. 1 This 
murder was perpetrated in a room in Stirling Castle called the Douglas Boom, 
and had more the appearance of having been done in a momentary impulse 
than by premeditation. James Douglas, the brother of the murdered Earl, 
then publicly defied the king, by a writing nailed to the door of the Parliament 
House at Edinburgh, and collected a large army, stated by the chroniclers to 
have numbered forty thousand men. The cause of the House of Stewart was 
then in great jeopardy, but the king in this crisis acted with much vigour, 
and with a large army besieged the Earl's Castle of Inveravon, and rased it 
to the ground. Marching through Clydesdale, he laid waste the Douglas and 
Hamilton estates in his progress, and afterwards besieged the Castle of 
Abercorn, which was one of the Douglas strongholds. The Earl marched with 
his army to relieve the castle, and a battle between the two forces appeared 
inevitable, but the defection of Hamilton and others of his followers so 
reduced the army of Douglas that he could no longer attempt an engage- 
ment with his adversary. The remnant of his army was dispersed, and 
the Earl made his escape into England. The Earl of Angus, who repre- 

1 His brother James " schew all the seles and gart draw it throu the towne." — [MS. 

at the corss on ane letter, with the handis Chronicle of John Asloane, in Auchinleck 

subscrivit. And tuke the letter and band it Library.] 
on ane burd, and cuplit it till ane horse tale 



sented the Bed Douglases, had been appointed leader of the royal army, 
and the siege of Abercorn was renewed in the spring when the castle 
was taken. 1 

The brothers of the Earl of Douglas having gathered together a number 
of their followers, were encountered on the 1st May 1455 by a formidable 
body of Borderers, headed by Sir Walter Scott of Buccleuch and his eldest 
son, David Scott, at Arkinholm, now Langholm, on the river Esk, opposite 
Wauchop-Kirk. A desperate conflict ensued, in which the Douglases were 
completely defeated. This engagement may be said to have given the 
finishing blow to the House of Douglas. Archibald, Earl of Moray, one of 
the younger brothers of the Earl of Douglas, was killed in the action, and 
his head being cut off, was sent to the king, who was then at the siege of 
Abercorn. Hugh, Earl of Ormond, another brother of Douglas, was made 
prisoner, condemned, and executed. Balveny, the youngest brother of 
Douglas, made his escape into England, but was afterwards captured and 
beheaded. The instrument containing the names of his captors, and provid- 
ing for the distribution of the reward, will be found in the second volume 
of this work. It contains the names of several Scotts, and is witnessed by 
Sir Walter Scott of Kirkurd, knight. 2 

In the Parliament which was held in June 1455, James, Earl of Douglas, 
and his heirs were declared forfeited, and in August following the lordship 
of Ettrick Eorest, with all bounds pertaining thereto, was perpetually annexed 
to the Crown. Sentence of forfeiture was also pronounced on the Earl's 
mother, Beatrix, on his brother Archibald, Earl of Moray, who had fallen 
in battle, and on his brother, John Douglas of Balveny. The forfeiture of 

1 The bastions of Abercorn, which guarded 
the castle on the north, or side next the 
estuary of the Forth, are still preserved. 
But only the site of the ancient castle of 
Abercorn can now be traced in the grounds 
to the west of Hopetoun House, and about 
two hundred yards from the bastions. The 

Cornie Burn joins the Medhop Burn a few 
hundred yards before they fall into the Forth. 
The junction of the Cornie and Medhop burns 
forms Abercorn, the name of the parish and 
castle from whence the Peerage titles of Earl, 
Marquis, and Duke of Abercorn are derived. 
2 Vol. ii. of this work, pp. 63, 64. 


Hugh, Earl of Orinond, is not mentioned, as being necessarily involved in his 
condemnation and public execution for treason. 1 

Sir "Walter Scott of Buccleuch and his eldest son, David Scott, who had 
contributed so much to the victory gained over the Douglases at Arkinholm, 
were rewarded by the king for their distinguished services. His Majesty 
granted a charter, dated at Stirling, 10th September 1455, to David Scott, son 
and heir of Sir Walter Scott of Kirkurd, knight, of his lands of Quhytchestir, 
in the barony of Hawick and shire of Eoxburgh, with the annualrents 
belonging to the king, by reason, as stated in the charter, of the forfeiture, 
for crimes wickedly and traitorously committed against us, by the late 
John of St. Michael, our traitor, as in our full Parliament held at Edinburgh 
by the three Estates of our kingdom was declared and judged : to be held of 
the Crown, for rendering the services due and wont. The charter specially 
narrates that it was granted for the faithful services of our beloved friends, 
Walter Scot of Kirkurd, knight, and David Scot, his son and heir-apparent, 
rendered to us in the victory obtained by them against our traitors, the late 
Archibald, formerly Earl of Moray, and the late Hugh of Douglas, his brother, 
formerly Earl of Ormond, in the killing of the said Archibald and the capture 
of the said Hugh in their traitorous actions wickedly perpetrated against our 
royal Majesty, and for other meritorious deeds and services rendered in many 
ways, and to be rendered to us by the said Walter and his son David. 2 

It was now that Sir Walter Scott of Buccleuch and his son David, on the 
fall of the Douglases, rose so high in favour with the king that they got 
several of the lands of the Douglases as the reward of their valour against 
them at the battle of Arkinholm. Gradually the family acquired much of 
the lands of the forests of Ettrick and Selkirk, which the Douglases had so 
long possessed, and thus became great landed barons, though they did not 
attain to the peerage till the reign of King James the Sixth, in the year 

1 Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, vol. ii. p. 42, etc. 

2 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 53. 



On 22d February 1458-9, Sir Walter Scott of Kirkurd obtained a charter 
of lands in the barony of Crawfordjohn, " for being present in the conflict of 
Arkinholrne, at the killing and capture of the rebels, the late Archibald and 
Hugh of Douglas, formerly Earls of Moray and Onnond." 1 

King James the Second met his death by the bursting of one of his own 
guns at the siege of Roxburgh in 1460, in the twenty-ninth year of his age 
and the twenty-first of his reign, and was succeeded by his eldest son, James 
the Third, a child of only eight years of age. 

The services which Sir Walter Scott and his son David had rendered to 
the late monarch, especially in overthrowing the power of the Douglases, were 
not forgotten under the new reign. Sir Walter obtained, under the Great 
Seal, 27th January 1463-4, a remission of the payment of certain sums of 
money which he had bound himself to pay to the officers of the Crown for 
certain persons. 2 This grant bears that it was made for the faithful and 
laudable service rendered by the grantee to the king, and especially in the 
expulsion of the traitor James of Douglas and his accomplices. 

Still continuing the rewards for the services against the family of 
Douglas, David Scott, son of Sir Walter, obtained the lands of Branxholm, 
erected into a free barony, to be called the barony of Branxholm. On 5th 
December 1463, in the Castle of Edinburgh, Sir Walter resigned into the 
hands of King James the Third his lands of Branxelm, in the barony of 
Hawick, in the shire of Roxburgh, also the six pound lands of Langtown, the 
lands of Lempatlaw, the lands of Elrig, Rankilburn, and the lands of the 
barony of Kirkurd, in the shire of Peebles. And in like manner his son and 
heir, David Scott, resigned into the hands of the king his lands of the barony 
of Ekfurd and the lands of Quhitchester, in the shire of Roxburgh. These 
resignations were made in order that the lands might be erected into a free 
barony, to be called the barony of Branxelm. Upon the resignations the 
king gave to David Scott and his heirs, according to the tenor of a Crown 
charter to be made to him thereupon, the foresaid lands of the barony 

1 Registrum Magni Sigilli, vol. v. No. 46. 

2 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 63. 


of Branxelm : the reddendo was the rendering annually to the Crown, for 
the twenty-four merk lands and barony of Branxelm, one red rose as blench 
farm, at the feast of St. John the Baptist, at the head messuage of the same, 
and performing, in respect of the other lands, the services due and wont. 
The freeholding of all the said lands was reserved to Sir Walter Scott during 
his lifetime, and a third part thereof to Margaret, his spouse. 1 

On the 7th of the same month King James the Third granted a charter of 
confirmation to David Scott, confirming and erecting the lands now mentioned 
into the barony of Branxholm. The charter bears that it was granted for the 
faithful and laudable service rendered in many ways to our late progenitor, 
and to us in our tender age, by our beloved knight, Walter Scott of Kirkurd, 
and David Scott, his son and heir-apparent, as well in the invasion as in the 
expulsion of our rebels, James of Douglas and his brothers. 2 

From that time till the reign of King James the Sixth, the designations 
of Kirkurd, Branxholm, and Buccleuch were occasionally used indifferently 
by the proprietors of these estates as their territorial designations — the desig- 
nation of Kirkurd gradually giving place to that of Branxholm, and the latter 
being finally superseded by that of Buccleuch. 3 

Sir Walter Scott frequently acted as a conservator of the truces between 
Scotland and England. He had been appointed, as already stated, a conser- 
vator of the truce concluded in 1438. He was also a conservator of the truce 
concluded at Durham, 15th November 1449, between commissioners of King 
Henry the Sixth of England and commissioners of King James the Second of 
Scotland, which was to be prolonged to no certain term, as had been done before, 
but only so long as either of the kings chose to observe it, with the provision 
that whichever king should think fit to renew the war, was to be bound to 
inform the other king of his intentions one hundred and eighty days before- 
hand. Among the others associated with him were the Earls of Douglas, 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 60. 3 Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, voL 

ii. pp. 84, 132. Acta Auditorum, pp. 46, 74, 

2 Ibid. p. 61. S3, 153. 



Angus, Ross, Moray, and Crawford ; the Barons of Crichton, Sinclair, Somer- 
ville, Maxwell, Montgomery, Gray, Hepburn of Hales, and James Crichton, 
etc. 1 The treaty was ratified by the King of England, 20th April 1450, and 
by the King of Scotland on 9th June thereafter. He was also a conservator 
of the truces between the Kings of England and Scotland in 1451, 1453, 
1457, and 1459-G0, on the part of the King of Scotland. 2 

During his long tenure of the family estates, Sir Walter Scott entered into 
many transactions regarding them, some of which may now be noticed, in 
addition to those already mentioned. 

He was retoured by special service at Etibredescheles, 27th February 1426, 
as heir of his father, Robert Scott, in the lands of Elerig, in the barony of 
Hawick and shire of Roxburgh. These lands were valued at ten merks yearly, 
and the same in time of peace, and were held in chief of the baron of Hawick 
for paying of one penny at the feast of St. John the Baptist, in name of blench 
farm, if asked. They had been in the hands of the superior for eight days 
before the feast of Martinmas bypast, through the death of Robert Scott. 3 

Under the designation of Walter Scott, Lord of Murthoustoun, he obtained 
a grant and confirmation from James of Langlands, lord of that Ilk, of the 
lands of Hepe, in the barony of Wiltoun and shire of Roxburgh, to be held of 
the granter as freely as Robert of Hepe, the former lord, held them before his 
resignation thereof. Upon all this Walter Scott took a public instrument, at 
the Cemetery of St. Mary's Churcli of Hawick, 5th May 1431. 4 

On the 9th of the same month of May, Walter Scott was infefted in the 
lands of Hepe by James Langlands of that Ilk, to be held of him for render- 
ing the service due and wont. Letters of that date, by Archibald of Douglas, 
Lord of Cavers and Sheriff of Teviotdale, Alexander of Murray of Cranston, 
John Scott, Stephen Scott, and others, attest that they were present and 
witnessed the infeftment. In the letters Walter Scott is designated " Lord 
of the Buccluche." 5 

1 Rotuli Scotiie, vol. ii. p. 341 a . 
3 Thid. pp. 353 a , 367 a , 3S3 a , 398 a . 

VOL. I. 

3 Vol. ii. of tin 

4 Ibid. p. 28. 

work, p. 25. 

6 Ibid. p. 



Under the designation of Walter Scott of Buccleuch, he received a letter 
of reversion, dated Peebles, 16th May 1431, from John Thome of Beneale, 
burgess of Edinburgh, of two annualrents of £2, 6s. 8d., from the lands of 
John of Vache of Ledivrde (Ladyurde), and of £2, 6s. 8d. out of the lands of 
John of Ghedes (Geddes) of Ledivrde, in the barony of Kirkeurde and shire 
of Peebles, upon payment to the granter or his heirs, by Walter Scott or his 
heirs, in the Church of the Holy Cross of Peebles, on the high altar thereof, 
of £100, with £4, 13s. 4d. for the annualrent of the year following the 
payment thereof. The letter is sealed with the seal of the granter. 1 

The superiority of the barony of Kirkurd, which was granted by King 
Eobert the Second in 1389 to his grandfather, Sir Walter, as heir of his 
father, Pvobert Scott, was inherited by this Sir Walter, and it included the 
superiority of the lands of Ladyurd. 

An instrument, under the seal of seven men of substance, dated 2 2d July 
1434, bears that they and many others were present as witnesses in the 
Chapel of St. Mary, built by John of Geddes, within the parish kirk of 
Peebles, when, of his own free will, he resigned the lands of the half of 
Ladyurd into the hands of Walter Scott, Lord of Morthouystoun, his over- 
lord, who then gave the lands to William of Geddes, and charged his baron 
bailie to pass to the soil and give him infeftment. 2 

On the 26th of the same month William of Geddes was infefted, in terms 
of a letter-patent, and sealed with the seal of Walter Scott, Lord of 
Morthouyston and Baron of Kirkurd. 3 Among the witnesses to the instru- 
ment of sasine are John de Wach of Ladyhurd, Simon of Denan of Scotts- 
toun, and Thomas of Woode, perpetual vicar of Kyrkhurd.* 

The tenandry of land commonly called Cusingisland, being on the north 
part of the town of Brankishame, and belonging to Margaret Cusing, it was 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 29. October 1455, was succeeded by his brother 

., _.,, , , , „. , , . T , , William, ["Instrument of sasine of that date. 

1 Title-deeds of Kirkurd and Ladyurd. L 

litle-deeds or Kirkurd and Ladyurd, at Castle 

3 William Geddes was succeeded by his Craig.] 

eldest son, John, who, dying before 7th * Castle Craig writs. 


evidently very desirable that Sir Walter Scott of Buccleuch should acquire it 
for consolidating his newly-acquired property of Branxholm. He therefore 
purchased Gusingland from the owner, Margaret Cusin, who, with consent of 
her husband and of Robert Scot, her son and heir, granted, on the payment 
of the purchase price, a charter, dated at Edinburgh, 19th April 1447, of that 
land, to be held from her of the lord-superior ; and in terms of a letter from 
her, Sir Walter was infefted in these lands on 7th August 1447, by her son, 
Robert Scot. Among the witnesses present were Stephen Scot, armiger, lord 
of Castellaw, brother of Sir Walter Scott, and William Scot, presbyter, 
perpetual vicar of Westerker. 1 

On 1st February 1448-9, Sir Walter Scott was infefted in the land of 
Birkwod, commonly called an oxgate of land, and also in the land of Burnflat, 
in the presence of Stephen Scot of Castellaw, Adam Scot, Walter Scot, and 
Richard Scot. 2 On 28th February 1450, he obtained from King James the 
Second a charter of the lands of Eckfurd, in the shire of Roxburgh, for his 
homage and services rendered, and to be rendered, to the granter, to be held 
of the Crown ; 3 and on 10th June 1451, he obtained from the same monarch 
a charter of the same lands, which he had resigned into the king's hands for 
new infeftment. 4 

Sir Walter Scott was one of the inquest who, at Jedburgh, on 6th October 
1450, retoured William Douglas as heir of his father, William Douglas, 
knight, in the barony of Hawick, in the shire of Roxburgh, which was held 
of the Earl of Douglas for payment of one arrow in the church of Hawick, 
on the day of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, in name of blench farm, if 
asked only. 5 

On 20th June 1451, in exchange for the lands of Hepe, Sir Walter Scott 
obtained those of Mylsintoun, in the barony of Wiltoun, in the shire of 
Roxburgh, from John of Langlands, lord of half of the barony of Wiltoun, 
by a charter of excambion of that date, at the church of Wiltoun. In the 
charter the lands of Mylsintoun are described as lying between the lands of 
1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 36. 2 Ibid. p. 39. 3 Ibid. p. 42. 4 Ibid. p. 42. b Ibid. p. 41. 


Borthwick on the east, those of Cheshelme on the south, those of Dualyrig 
and of the lands of Belindene on the north parts. The reddendo is the 
payment yearly of a red rose or sixpence Scots, if asked, in name of blench 
farm, at the feast of St. John the Baptist. 1 On 31st December 1453, Sir 
Walter Scott of Kirkurd obtained a charter of excambion from James of 
Langlandis, superior of the freeholding of half of the barony of Wiltoun, the 
granter's freeholding of the town of Milsaintoun, in the barony of Wiltoun, 
in the shire of Roxburgh, in return for the said Walter's freeholding of Hepe 
Wester, in the said barony of Wyltoun and shire of Roxburgh. 2 On the 
same day, according to the tenor of this charter, Walter Scott of Kirkurd, 
knight, was infefted in the freeholding of the town of Milsaintoun, at the 
capital messuage of the lands of the town of Milsaintoun. Among the 
witnesses was Robert Scot, son and heir of Stephen Scot of Muirhouse. 3 

On 10th April 1453, Sir Walter- Scott of Kirkurd, knight, resigned into 
the hands of King James the Second, at the castle of Stirling, the lands of 
the barony of Ekfurd, in the shire of Roxburgh, for new infeftment in favour 
of his son David. The resignation being made, the lands were delivered 
to David Scott, son and heir-apparent of Sir Walter Scott, by the king. 
According to the tenor of a charter from the king to David Scott made 
thereupon, the freeholding of the lands of the barony was reserved to Sir 
Walter during his lifetime. 

On 16th April 1453, at Stirling, a charter, following on the preceding 
resignation, was granted by King James the Second to David Scott, son and 
heir-apparent of Sir Walter Scott of Kirkurd, knight, of the whole lands of 
the barony of Ekfurd, in the shire of Roxburgh. The lands were to be 
held by the grantee and his heirs of the Crown, for rendering annually three 
suits at the three head courts of the shire of Roxburgh. 4 In May following, 
David Scott was infefted in the lands of the barony of Eckfurd. 5 

Sir Walter Scott, styled of Kirkurd, was a member of the Parliament 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 43. - Ibid. p. 49. 3 Ibid. p. 51. 

4 Ibid. p. 48. 5 Ibid. p. 49, note. 



which met at Edinburgh on the 11th of October 1464, in the reign of King 
James the Third, then in the twelfth year of his age. Andrew, Lord 
Avondale, was Chancellor, and represented the king in that Parliament. 1 

Sir Walter Scott married Margaret Cockburn of Henderland, in the 
county of Peebles, by whom he had three sons. 

1. David Scott, who succeeded him. 

2. James Scott, designated of Kirkurd. 2 

3. Alexander Scott, who died previous to 21st May 1488. He had two 
sons, Walter and Adam, who were both named in the Crown charter of the 
barony of Branxholm, which was obtained by his brother, David Scott, on 
21st May 1488, in which Alexander is named as then deceased. 

Sir Walter Scott died before 9th February 1469, as appears from a gift 
made by Archibald, Earl of Angus, to his son, David Scott, then designated 
of Buccleuch, of the governorship of Hermitage Castle. 3 

1 Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, 
vol. ii. p. 84. 

2 James Scott, designated of Kirkurd and 
Hassendean, left descendants in the families 
of Hassendean, Burnhead, etc. Neither James 
Scott nor any of his descendants are included 
in the entail of Branxholm, which was made 
by David Scott, and confirmed by the Crown 

on 21st May 1488. The sons of Alexander 
Scott are named in that entail, and also other 
Scotts more remote in degree ; and that ex- 
clusion of James Scott of Kirkurd raises a 
doubt of his being a full brother of David 
Scott, who made the entail. 

3 Vol. ii. of this work, p. t>7. 





r\AVID SCOTT, who was probably born about the year 1430, succeeded 
his father, Sir Walter Scott of Buccleuch, before 9th February 1469-70. 
In a gift of that date from Archibald, Earl of Angus and Lord of Douglas, of 
the keeping and governorship of the Castle of Hermitage for nineteen years, 
he is designated David Scott of Buccleuch. 1 

During the lifetime of his father, David Scott was designated of Eckfurd. 
He is so styled in a notarial instrument, dated 2d November 1456, which he 
obtained at his request, recording the attestation of Sir Walter Scott, knight, 
Lord of Kirkurd, his father, sitting in judgment in his principal court of 
Branxbolm, that he had given sasine to the late John of St. Michael of the 
lands of Qwitchester. 2 

David Scott, who is designated of Kirkurd, was a member of the Parlia- 
ment which assembled at Edinburgh, in April 1481, to provide for the defence 
of the kingdom against Edward the Fourth of England, who was making 
preparations for the invasion of Scotland. By this Parliament all the lieges 
were commanded to be ready on eight days' warning, or sooner if required, 
armed to attend the king. Directions were also given as to the arms ; that 
the soldier's spear should not be less than five ells and a half long, and axe- 
men, who had neither spear nor bow, were commanded to provide themselves 
with a wooden or leather targe, according to a pattern to be shown by the 
sheriffs of the respective counties. 3 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 67. 3 Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, 

2 Ibid. pp. 55, 50. vol. ii. p. 132. 



David Scott, then styled "Dominus de BuclucE," was also among the 
barons present at the Parliament held at Edinburgh in October 1487. 1 

Both David Scott and his father had been closely associated in war and 
politics with George, fourth Earl of Angus, who commanded the royal forces 
during the rebellion of James, Earl of Douglas, and his brothers, the Earls of 
Moray and Ormond, and the Lord of Balveny. On the suppression of the 
rebellion, the lands and lordship of Douglas were granted, by a charter under 
the great seal, to the Earl of Angus, who was next heir-male. The Scotts of 
Buccleuch had also added greatly to their wealth and importance, as a con- 
sequence of the services which they had rendered during the contest with 

With the family of the Earl of Angus they were to become still more 
closely connected by the marriage of David Scott, younger of Buccleuch, the 
eldest surviving son of David Scott of Buccleuch, with the Lady Jane 
Douglas, daughter of George, fourth Earl of Angus, and sister of Archibald 
the fifth Earl, named Bell-the-Cat. The marriage-contract, which is quoted 
in the succeeding chapter, shows the close friendship which subsisted between 
the two families, provision being made that if David should die, his next 
younger brother was to marry Lady Jane Douglas, and so on in regular 
succession of the brothers ; and that if Lady Jane should die, David was to 
obtain in marriage the next daughter of the Earl of Angus, till a marriage was 
completed. The insecurity of possessions in the Border lands is shown in the 
provision for payment of part of the dowry, that " gif throw were of Inglismen 
the said David Scott can nocht hafe the fermys of Lidalsdale and Eusdale at 
the termys of Witsunday and Martymes zerly, the forsaid Lord of Angus and 
his moder bindis and assignis thare landis of Jedworth Forest to be raisit be 
the said David Scot." 2 

As a consequence of the arrangement made in the contract of marriage, 
David Scott and his son David obtained from Archibald, Earl of Angus, a 

1 Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, vol. ii. p. 175. 

2 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 71. 


gift, dated 17th April 1472, of the governorship of the Castle of the Hermitage 
for seventeen years, after Whitsunday following. The Earl also granted them 
the lands which William of Douglas and his son Archibald, sheriffs, had for 
keeping the castle, without revocation. 1 

On the same date, as provided in the contract, they also received from 
Archibald, Earl of Angus, Lord of Douglas and of the regalities of Liddesdale, 
Eusdale, and Eskdale, an appointment, conjunctly and severally, to be bailies 
of his lordships of Liddesdale, Eusdale, and Eskdale, for the term of seventeen 
years, with the power of letting the granter's lands, raising his rents, holding 
courts, punishing trespassers, and other powers belonging to the office. 2 

The office of bailliary of these districts was one of great responsibility and 
importance. Scotland was then at peace with England ; but it was always 
important to preserve order and tranquillity on the Borders, and the mutual 
incursions of the Borderers on both sides frequently threatened to interrupt 
peaceful relations between the two kingdoms. 

David Scott the younger was one of the witnesses to a charter granted 
by Kobert Scott of Haining to his cousin, Thomas Middlemas, of the lands of 
Greviston and Gillishauch, in the county of Peebles. The charter is dated 
on the 21st December 1476, and David Scott, as one of the witnesses to it, is 
designated son and heir-apparent of David Scott of Branxholm. 3 This is the 
latest notice which has been found of David Scott the younger. It would 
appear that he lived only a few years after his marriage with Lady Jane 

As governor of Hermitage Castle, David Scott of Kirkurd was commanded 
to repair and put in a condition of defence the fortress of which he was the 
keeper, similar orders having been given to the governors of the other 
fortresses on the Border and on the east coast. He also enlarged and 
strengthened the castle of Branxholm. This castle is the principal scene of 
Sir Walter Scott's poem, " The Lay of the Last Minstrel." In the Hermitage 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 72. 3 Original charter, No. 21 of Traquair Writs, 

- Ibid. p. 73. at Traquair. 


Castle a garrison of one hundred men was placed, under the command of the 
Laird of Lamingtoun. 1 

Although there was so close a connection between the Earl of Angus and 
the Scotts of Buccleuch, they acted in opposition to each other in the dissen- 
sions with which the latter part of the reign of King James the Third was 

The causes which led to the wide-spread discontent among the nobles are 
not very clearly made out. The king's opponents charge him with raising 
obscure and unworthy men to positions of influence in the Government, and 
with making them his advisers in affairs of State. On Cochrane, an archi- 
tect, his principal favourite, he lavished wealth and honours, and it is said , 
bestowed on him part of the landed earldom of Mar, forfeited since the death 
of the king's brother. Historians have even asserted that Cochrane actually 
received from the king the ancient title of Earl of Mar. But of this there is 
no evidence whatever. 2 Cochrane is also said to have instigated the king to 
debase the coinage, thereby causing much misery and distress in the country. 
On the other hand, it has been urged that the king's tastes were too refined 
for the men whom he had to rule : that he encouraged and rewarded the 
study of music and art, pursuits then held in contempt by a rude and 
turbulent nobiiity. 

However this may have been, the disaffected nobles determined to remove 
the king's favourites ; and at Lauder, where the Scottish army had arrived on 
its march to meet the Duke of Gloucester, occurred the famous scene so well 
known in history, in which the Earl of Angus earned for himself the sobriquet 
of Bell-the-Cat. 

After accomplishing the destruction of Cochrane and the other favourites, 
the army was disbanded, and the king was conveyed a prisoner to Edinburgh. 

The barons engaged in that transaction were never cordially reconciled to 
the king, and some years afterwards they engaged his eldest son, the Prince 

1 Origines Parochiales, vol. i. p. 361. 

2 Proceedings in the Mar Peerage Case in the House of Lords, 1S68-1S75. 
VOL. I. G 

50 DAVID SCOTT OF Bl'CCLEUGH, 1468-1492. 

and Steward of Scotland, afterwards King James the Fourth, in a conspiracy, 
the object of which was to dethrone his father and place the prince himself 
on the throne. 

What part David Scott took in the enterprise at Lauder is not known ; 
but in subsequent events both he and his son, Kobert Scott, are found among 
the party who supported the cause of the king. 

In the Parliament which met in October 1487, of which, as already stated, 
David Scott was a member, an attempt was made to reconcile the opposing 
factions. But the king and those who supported him, too confident in their 
strength, opposed the proposal. Several enactments were passed which were 
evidently aimed at the rebellious barons, and convinced them that the king- 
would endeavour to crush them by extreme measures. The Parliament was 
prorogued until the 11th January following. 

But in the meantime the barons had not been idle. They had arranged 
various meeting-places for their followers, and put their castles in a state of 

The Parliament having again assembled, the king proceeded to adopt 
decided measures ; and in the severity of the Acts passed the disaffected 
barons saw that they must either submit to be destroyed, or raise the standard 
of civil war. The cause of the king was strongest in the north, and to that 
quarter he proceeded, and succeeded in raising a considerable army, with 
which he advanced against the rebels. 

David Scott of Buccleuch had supported the royal cause in Parliament, 
but he was too far advanced in years to take the field. His son Robert, 
however, followed by a considerable number of his retainers and friends, 
joined the king's army, and acquitted himself in such a manner as specially 
to secure the notice of the king and to receive substantial proofs of his 

The two armies met near the castle of Blackness, on the Forth, a few 
miles to the west of Abercom, the scene of the conflict with the Douglases in 
the previous reign. But nothing further than a severe skirmish took place 



at Blackness ; and negotiations having been opened, they resulted in a recon- 
ciliation for the time. 

The king afterwards proceeded to reward those who had supported him. 
Like others honourably mentioned in the contest at Blackness, the services 
of Bobert Scott were acknowledged and rewarded by the king. The charters 
by which the services of these respective chieftains were acknowledged are 
all dated in the month of May 148S. 

The services of the Scotts of Buccleuch are specially recorded in a charter 
which was soon after granted by King James the Third in favour of David 
Scott of Branxholm, which proceeded on his resignation. 1 This charter 
bears date at Edinburgh, 21st May 1488, and it regrants to David Scott 
and his heirs therein mentioned, the lands of the barony of Branxelme, and 
the lands of Ekfurd, in the shire of Boxburgh, and the lands of Langtoun, 
Lempetlaw, Bankilburn, and the lands of the barony of Kirkurd, in the shire 
of Peebles, all which lands were united, annexed, and incorporated by the 
king into one free barony, for ever to be called the barony of Branxelme. 
In the charter it is expressly stated that it was granted by the king for 
the faithful and well-deserving services rendered to his Majesty by his 
beloved squire, David Scott of Branxelme, in times past, in clivers ways, and 
for the faithful and gratuitous service rendered in many ways to the king by 
Bobert Scott, son of the said David, and his servants and friends under the 
royal standard at the battle-field at Blackness, in the defence of the royal 
person and Crown, and for service to be rendered in time to come. 2 

The lands and barony were to be held by David Scott, and the heirs-male 
of his body ; whom failing, by Walter Scott, grandson of David, and the 
lawful heirs-male of his body ; whom failing, by Bobert Scott, son of the said 
David, and the lawful heirs-male of his body ; whom failing, by Walter Scott, 
son of the deceased Alexander Scott, brother of David Scott, and the lawful 

1 He appointed his son Robert his pro- 
curator, to make the resignation by a letter 
of procuratory, dated at Eckfurd, Sth No- 

vember 148 1 

2 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 89. 

Vol. ii. of this work, p. 


heirs-male of his body ; whom also failing, by Adam Scott, brother-german of 
Walter Scott, and the lawful heirs-male of his body ; whom failing, by 
Walter Scott of Quhitehauch, and the lawful heirs-male of his body ; whom 
all failing, by the lawful and nearest heirs whomsoever of David Scott of 
Branxholin, to be held of the Crown in feu and heritage for ever, for paying 
annually, for the twenty-four merk land of the barony of Branxholm, one 
red rose at the feast of St. John the Baptist, in name of blench farm, if asked 
only, and rendering annually for the remaining lands the rights and services 
due and wont. 

Even before his succession to his father, Walter, David Scott acquired 
lands in several counties ; and after his succession, he obtained from the 
Crown new grants of the old lands of the family. Thus, as son and heir- 
apparent of Walter Scott of Kirkurd, knight, he obtained, on 14th March 
1451-2, from King James the Second, a charter of the twenty-pound land of 
Drumcors, in the shire of Linlithgow, to be held of the Crown for three 
suits, to be rendered annually by the grantee and his heirs in the three head . 
courts of that shire. 1 The charter bears to be granted for the faithful service 
rendered, and to be rendered, by David Scott to the king, and it is dated 
at Stirling. 

David Scott, son and heir of Sir Walter Scott of Kirkurd, knight, pur- 
chased from John of Irelandys of that Ilk his lands commonly called 
Irelandis landis, in the barony of Wiltoun, in the shire of Boxburgh, 
for a certain sum of money paid to the seller in his urgent and known 
necessity, with which he held himself well contented and wholly paid. 
Upon this the purchaser received from the seller a charter of the lands, 
dated at Wiltoun, 30th April 1454, to be held of Henry of Wardlaw, superior 
of the half of the barony of Wiltoun, from the granter, in feu and heritage 
for ever, for rendering one pound of cucumber and one pair of spurs at the 
feast of Pentecost, on the ground of the lands, if asked only, in name of 
blench farm. 2 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 44. 2 Ibid. \>. 5"2. 



In the year 1482, David Scott acquired the lands of Mangerton, in the 
territory and lordship of Liddesdale, which belonged to Thomas Armstrong 
of Mangerton. On 2d November that year Armstrong appointed procurators 
for resigning the lands into the hands of Archibald, Earl of Angus, his 
superior thereof, as Lord of Liddesdale, in favour of David Scot of Branx- 
helme. Among the witnesses are Eobert Scot, Adam Scot, and William Scot, 
rector of Sowdon. 1 

On the 12th of the same month, David Scot of Branxhelme received from 
Archibald, Earl of Angus, a charter of the lands of Mangerton, to be held for 
the services due and wont. 2 A precept was addressed by the Earl, of the 
same date, to his bailies, Eobert Scot, Walter Scot, John Gledstanis, and John 
Turnbull, to infeft David Scot in the lands of Mangerton. 3 

David Scott of Branxholme, and Eobert, his son, obtained from the sub- 
prior and monks of the Abbey of Melrose a grant, dated 24th April 1484, 
appointing them conjunctly and severally bailies of their lands of Melross- 
land, and of the lands of Ettrick, Eodonow, Esdale, Eingwodfeld, and of the 
lands of East Teviotdale, belonging to the Abbey, and of all other lands of' 
which David Scott was previously bailie for five years, with the usual powers 
to set the lands, to inbring the mads and farms to the profit and utility of 
the Abbey, to hold courts, to punish transgressors, to uplift and to raise 
amerciaments, etc.* 

When drawing near the close of his active life, and within a few weeks 
of his death, this Lord of Buccleuch made his last will and testament at his 
house of Buccleuch, on the 9th of February 1491-2, before witnesses, William 
Scott, rector of Sowdoun, John Scott, rector of Eankilburn, and others. 
The inventory of his goods, consisting of sheep, oxen, cows, growing crop, etc., 
amounted to £740. The debts owing to him by John Scott, his son, the 
Countess of Eothes, and others, were £43, 16s. 8d., and the debts which he 
owed were £337. By his testament he left his soul to the omnipotent God, 
and to the blessed Virgin Mary, and to the whole celestial assembly, and his 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 77. 2 Ibid. p. 79. 3 Ibid. p. 80. 4 Ibid. p. S2. 



body to be buried in the Church of the Holy Cross at Peebles. 1 He left a 
donation to the fabric of the Church of St. Kentigern, and to the Churches 
of Hawick, Bankilburn, and St. Mary of the Forest, and 36 merks 8d. to a 
suitable priest to pray for the welfare of his soul : the priest was to be chosen 
by William Scott, rector of Sowdoun. He left to Eobert Scott, his son, £40, 
and to Walter Scott, his grandson, £40 and eleven oxen. He also constituted 
Walter Scott his apparent heir, and Eobert Scott, his son, tutors to William 
Turnbull, Lord of Mynto. He appointed Eobert Scott, his son, to be tutor 
to Walter Scott ; and the residue of all his goods he put in disposition of 
his executors, whom he constituted, namely, Walter Scott, his grandson, 
Eobert Scott, his son, and Walter Scott of Howpaslait. 2 

David Scott of Buccleuch and Branxholm died in the month of March 
following, as appears from the retour of his grandson and successor, Walter 
Scott, dated 6th November 1492, as heir of his grandfather. 3 

He had four sons and three daughters. 4 

1. Walter was the eldest born son. Before 28th June 1465 he was con- 
tracted in marriage to Katherine Lindsay, daughter of John Lindsay of Covington, 
in the county of Lanark. Walter Scott was not then of lawful age for marriage, 
and it was provided that if he should die before completing marriage, another 
son of David Scott should marry a daughter of John Lindsay of Covington, if a 
son and a daughter remained to the parents. 5 Walter Scott was living on the 
9th of February 1469, on which date a gift was made by the Earl of Angus, in 
which he is designated son and apparent heir of David Scott of Buccleuch. 6 But 
Walter Scott was dead, without issue, before the year 1471, when his next brother, 
David, was the heir-apparent of his father. The proposed marriage with the 

1 This confirms the tradition of Satchells 
that the Cross Church of Peebles was the 
original burying-place of the family. Even 
when dying at Rankilburn, where there was 
a cemetery connected with the church, David 
Scott appointed his remains to be interred at 
Peebles amongst his ancestors. 

2 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 92. 

3 Ibid. p. 95. 

1 The name of his wife is not known. It 
is said by the Peerage writers that he married 
a daughter of Thomas Lord Somerville, but 
this is a mistake. All the daughters of that 
Lord Somerville were married before his 
death in 1434. [Memorie of the Somervills, 
vol. i. p. 170.] 

Vol. ii. of this work, p. 66. 

6 Ibid. p. 67. 


Lindsay lady appears never to have been celebrated ; and the Earl of Angus 
seems to have had an eye on the young Lord of Buccleuch for his sister. On 
the death of Walter Scott, the eldest son, Angus took care that David Scott 
should be married to his sister, Lady Jane Douglas, as is fully explained in the 
succeeding memoir of David. 

2. David, who predeceased his father between 1476 and 1484, leaving a son, 
as shown in the succeeding memoir. 

3. Robert of Alanhaugh, in the county of Roxburgh, who received a charter 
from his father of the lands of Whitechester, in the same county, in the year 1483. 
From him the Scotts of Scotstarvit claim to be descended. They are now repre- 
sented in the female line by His Grace the Duke of Portland, through the marriage 
of his father, William, fourth Duke, with Henrietta Scott, eldest daughter and 
co-heir of General John Scott of Balcomie, in the county of Fife. His Grace 
quarters the arms of Scott on a bend azure, a star of six points between two 
crescents, or, within a bordure engrailed. 

Robert Scott, son of David Scott of Buccleuch, obtained a charter from Sir 
Thomas Turnbull of Greenwod and Lyne, of the lands of Greenwod and Lyne, 
in the shire of Roxburgh, and was infefted in these lands on the 2 2d December 
1488. 1 He died between 1490 and 1492. 

4. William, the fourth son of David Scott of Kirkurd, is mentioned as next 
to Robert Scott in the marriage-contract between his brother David and Lady 
Jane Douglas, dated 24th February 1471-2. 2 He was witness to a charter by 
Robert Scott of Haining, 21st December 1476. 3 But as William Scott is not 
named as one of the heirs of provision in the Crown charter of the barony of 
Branxholm, dated 21st May 1488, while remoter heirs are named, it is obvious 
that he had predeceased without leaving issue. 4 

David Scott of Buccleuch had three daughters. 

1. Janet, the eldest, married Sir James Douglas, son and apparent heir of 
Sir William Douglas of Drumlanrig, and from that marriage the present Duke of 
Buccleuch, as Duke of Queensberry, is descended. Sir James was retoured heir to 
his father on 19th October 1484. 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, pp. 91, 92. 4 In the will of David Scott of Buccleuch, 

2 Ibid. p. 71. made on 9th February 1491, amoDgst his 

3 Original Charter, No. 21 of Traquair creditors is enumerated "Johannes Seote 
Writs, at Traquair. eius rilius xv nobilia." [Vol. ii. p. 93.] 



The marriage-contract is dated 5th November 1470, and stipulates that 
David Scott shall pay, in name of "tocher," the sum of 500 merks; William of 
Douglas undertaking to infeft his son James and Janet his spouse in twenty 
pounds worth of his lands in the baronies of Hawick and Drumlanrig. 1 By letters, 
dated 5th November 1470, David Scott of Buccleuch bound himself to pay to 
"William of Douglas of Drumlanrig 200 merks Scots, in case he or his heirs should 
fail to make the lands of Quhitchester to be holden of the said William and his 
heirs.' 2 

By letters of the same date, W r illiam of Douglas of Drumlanrig bound himself 
to David Scott of Buccleuch in various matters connected with the marriage of 
his son James Douglas and Janet Scott. 3 

2. Margaret, married James Haig of Bemerside, in the county of Berwick, 
and had issue. Margaret Scott was the wife of James Haig of Bemerside on 
14th February 1489. 4 The Haigs are a very ancient race, of whom their 
neighbour at Earlstoun, Thomas the Bymer, predicted — 

" Whate'er betide, whate'er betide, 
There will aye be Haigs at Bemerside." 

3. The third daughter, whose christian name we have not discovered, married 
John Lindsay, son and apparent heir of John Lindsay of Cowbantoun, now 
Covington, in the county of Lanark. 5 

1 Original Contract at Drumlanrig. 
- VoL ii. of this work, p. 6S. 
3 Ibid. p. 69. 

4 Reg. Mag. Sig., Lib. xii No. 123. 

5 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 7-1. 




Circa 1450-1484. 

LADY JANE DOUGLAS (of Angus), his Wife. 

T\AVID SCOTT was the second born son of David Scott of Buccleuch. 

The elder brother of this David Scott was Walter Scott, who having 
predeceased him, young and unmarried, David Scott became the heir-apparent 
of his father, David Scott, in the Buccleuch estates. He was probably born 
in the year 1450. 

In the end of the year 1472, this David Scott married Lady Jane 
Douglas, daughter of George, fourth Earl of Angus. Lady Jane Douglas 
was the sister of Archibald, fifth Earl of Angus. The contract for that 
marriage is dated at Edinburgh on 24th February 1471. George, Earl of 
Angus, the father of Lady Jane Douglas, being then dead, the contracting 
parties are his son, Archibald, fifth Earl of Angus, afterwards Chancellor of 
Scotland — commonly known in history as Bell-the-Cat — on behalf of his 
sister, Lady Jane Douglas ; Elizabeth (Sibbald), Countess of Angus, mother 
of Lady Jane ; and James, Lord Hamilton, on the one part ; and David Scott 
of Buccleuch, on the other part : David Scott the younger becomes bound to 
marry Jane of Douglas, sister to the Earl of Angus. Should he die before 
the marriage was completed, Bobert Scott, the second son of David Scott of 
Buccleuch, was to marry the Lady Jane Douglas. If Bobert Scott failed, 
William Scott, the third son, was to marry her ; and failing William Scott, 
each other son in succession was to complete the said marriage. Should 
Lady Jane Douglas die before the marriage was completed, David Scott, her 

VOL. I. H 


promised husband, became bound to marry Elizabeth of Douglas, her sister ; 
and so on, each brother to David Scott, being heir to him, was to marry one 
of the sisters of the Earl of Angus, until a marriage was completed. 

David Scott of Buccleuch was to give in joint infeftment to David Scott, 
his son, and to Lady Jane Douglas, the lands of Drifysdale, for which David 
Scott, the son, should have in tocher 600 merks Scots, of which sum David 
Scott discharged 200 merks to the Earl of Angus, his mother, and Lord 
Hamilton, and the remaining 400 merks were to be paid as specified in the 

David Scott of Buccleuch, and his son, David Scott, younger, were also 
to be provided in the bailiary of Liddesdale, Eusdale, and Eskdale, with the 
keeping of the house of the Hermitage for thirteen years. As keepers, they 
were to have the lands surrounding the castle, which had been held by 
William of Douglas and his son Archibald, sheriffs, the former keepers of 
the castle. David Scott and his son David bound themselves in manrent 
and service to the Earl of Angus, during the time that either of them had 
the bailiary of the lordships of Liddesdale, Eusdale, and Eskdale, and the 
keeping of the Hermitage. The Earl was to have free entrance into and 
issue from the Hermitage as often as he pleased, and to make residence with 
many, or few, as long as he pleased, without obstruction or demand. In 
like manner, the Earl bound himself to David Scott and his son David to 
maintain, supply, and defend them in all actions, causes, and quarrels, lawful 
and honest, as his letters of maintenance thereupon import. 1 

The marriage of David Scott, younger, and Lady Jane Douglas was 
probably celebrated soon after the date of the contract, as in terms of it he 
obtained, on 1 7th April 1472, jointly with his father, the gift of the governor- 
ship of the castle of the Hermitage for seventeen years. He was also, in 
conjunction with his father, appointed by the Earl of Angus, by a deed of 
the same date, bailie of the Earl's lordships of Liddesdale, Eusdale, and 
Eskdale, for seventeen years. 2 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 71. 2 Ibid. p. 72. 


The terms of the contract of marriage show the importance which was 
attached hy the great Earl of Angus to an alliance with the Buccleuch 
family. If the young Lord of Buccleuch should die before the celebration 
of the intended marriage with Lady Jane Douglas, it was carefully arranged 
that his brothers in succession should marry the lady, till a marriage was 
effected. It was also provided that if she should die, her sister, Lady 
Elizabeth, should take her place as the wife of the young Scott of 

Such arrangements on the part of the influential Earl of Angus, who had 
come into the place, position, and power of the former Earls of Douglas, show 
the position which the family of Scott of Buccleuch had acquired as large 
landed proprietors, and as influential barons on the Scottish Border. 

During the wars in which his father and grandfather acted so prominent 
parts in the reign of King James the Second, this David Scott could only 
have been in childhood, and unable to take any part in these conflicts. 

Before the unhappy civil war which occurred between King James the 
Third and his subjects, David Scott appears to have died. Although the 
exact date of his death has not been ascertained, it is certain that it occurred 
before the 21st May 1488, on which date his father, David Scott, obtained a 
Crown charter of the barony of Branxholm, in which "Walter Scott is named 
as the nearest heir of David Scott, then of Buccleuch. 

That Walter Scott was the only known son of the marriage of David 
Scott, younger, and Lady Jane Douglas. The young heir-apparent of 
Buccleuch, David Scott, had thus died before the occurrence of the fatal 
battle of Sauchieburn. His life being thus short and uneventful, there is 
very little known of his personal history, beyond the few facts regarding his 
marriage now recorded. 



HOLM, AND KIRKURD, 1492-1504. 

ELIZABETH KERR of Cessfokd, his Wife. 

rPHIS Walter Scott was the only known issue of the marriage of David 
Scott, younger of Buccleuch, and Lady Jane Douglas, daughter of the 
Earl of Angus. 

His father, David Scott, younger of Buccleuch, having predeceased his 
father, Sir Walter, on the death of David Scott, his grandfather, in March 
1492, succeeded to him in the Buccleuch estates. 

Like his father, this Lord of Buccleuch died while he was a young man, 
and he only possessed the estates for ahout twelve years. There does not 
appear to have been anything remarkable in his career. Neither the history 
of Scotland, nor of the Borders during that period, which is passed over 
slightly by our historians, affords much that is important or exciting. From 
the date of his father's marriage-contract in 1471, this Lord of Buccleuch 
could not have been more than thirty or thirty-two years of age at the time 
of his death in 1504. 

Having possessed the Buccleuch estates for so short a period, and having 
died so young, there is little known of his personal history. The family 
papers afford only a few notices of him, and these may be noted here. 

Sir Walter Scott of Branxholm, as one of the executors of David Scott, 
his grandfather, made an assignation, on 22d May 1492, at Peebles, in the 
hall of the mansion of Gilbert Williamson, to Robert Scott, of all the move- 
able goods belonging to David Scott, committing full power to Robert Scott 



to dispose of them at pleasure ; and Eobert Scott bound himself to pay all 
the debts contained in the testament of David Scott. 1 

Sir Walter Scott was retoured heir of his grandfather, David Scott of 
Branxholm, at Jedburgh, 6th November 1492, in the half of the lands of 
Branxholm, and in the lands of Quhitechester, Lempatlaw, Eylrig, Eankil- 
burn, Mylsintoun, in the barony of Branxholm and shire of Boxburgh, and 
in the lands of Kirkurd, in the shire of Peebles, annexed to the barony of 

The retour bears that the half lands of Branxholm were then waste, and 
in time of peace were valued at twenty-four merks Scots yearly. The lands 
of Quhitechester, Lempatlaw, and Bankilburn, were also waste and in time of 
peace were valued at £20 each yearly. Those of Eylrig were also waste, and 
in time of peace were valued at £10 Scots yearly. The lands of Mylsinton 
were then waste, and in time of peace were valued at ten merks Scots yearly. 
Those of Kirkurd were valued at £20 Scots yearly, and the same in time of 
peace. All these lands were held of the king in chief by blench farm, and 
were in the hands of the king, as the lord-superior, by the death of David 
Scott of Branxholm, who died in the month of March preceding. 2 

All the lands specified in this retour, with the exception of Kirkurd, 
are said to be waste, and their value in time of peace only is given, which 
shows a sad state of the border lands in the shires of Boxburgh and Selkirk. 
It is clear that at this period, and previously, depredations had been com- 
mitted on the lands of Buccleuch in these shires, though the real cause of 
so wide-spread desolation of such extensive lands does not appear in the 
history of the Borders. The two neighbouring nations of Scotland and 
England had been in conflict, and the adjacent lands had no doubt been 

Walter Scott of Branxholm was one of the inquest by which Alexander 
Erskine, on 11 th April 1494, was retoured as heir to his father, Thomas Lord 
Erskine, in the lands of Syntoun and office of Sheriff of Selkirk. Various 
1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 95. 2 Ibid. pp. 95-97. 


others of the family of Scott were on the same inquest, namely. Walter Scott 
of Hepe, Adam Scott of Herdmanstoun, Eobert Scott of Hanyn (Haining), 
and James Scott of Hassinden. 1 

Walter Scott of Buccleuch, as nevo (grandson) and heir of the deceased 
David Scott of Buccleuch, obtained, on 25th June 1494, a decreet by the 
Lords of Council in his favour, in reference to the theft and plunder of his 
grandfather's property by certain depredators on the Borders. Simon Eoutlage 
in the Prowis, and Mathew Eoutlage, his son, and their complices, had taken 
from and despoiled David Scott and his tenants of five horses and mares, forty 
kye and oxen, forty sheep, household plenishing to the value of £40, two 
chalders of victual, 30 salt rnartis, 80 stones of cheese and butter, and two 
oxen. The depredators were summoned to appear before the Justice Air of 
Jedburgh, and William of Douglas of Hornyshole became surety for the 
satisfaction of the injured party. As to the avail of the spoliation and 
damage sustained by the burning of the place and manor of Buccleuch, as 
contained in the summons, the Lords assigned to Walter Scott the 11th day 
of October then next, to prove the avail of the goods, and the damage alleged 
to extend to 1000 merks, and that the party be warned to hear them sworn. 2 

These proceedings furnish a specimen of the lawless state of the Borders in 
the end of the fifteenth century. Extensive thefts and robberies were but 
too common, and these frequently gave rise to deadly encounters between 
the robbers and those whom they robbed, in attempting to save their pro- 

At the date of these proceedings in 1494, the manor-place of Buccleuch 
was occupied by the Knight of Buccleuch. It continued to be one of the 
principal residences of the family for many years afterwards. But their 
removal from Murthockston to Branxholm gradually superseded the mansion 
of Buccleuch as the principal Border residence of the family. 

The few notices of this Lord of Buccleuch which occur subsequently in 
the family writs relate chiefly to property transactions. His lands of 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 97. 2 Acta Dominorum Concilii, p. 338. 


Gryrnslaw, in the shire of Eoxburgh, were held of Patrick, Earl of Bothwell, 
as the feudal superior ; and a precept from that Earl for infefting him in these 
lands is dated 5th October 1500. 1 

On the 31st of the same month, upon a precept from King James the 
Fourth, he was infefted as heir of his grandfather, David Scott of Branxholm, 
in the half of the lands of Branxholm, the lands of Ekfurd, the six-pound lands 
of Langtoun, in the barony of Branxholm and shire of Eoxburgh. The king's 
precept required that security should be taken for 1G8 merks of the farms of 
the half lands of Branxholm, £140 of the farms of the lands of Ekfurd, and 
£42 of the farms of the lands of Langtoun, all which had been in the hands of 
the Crown for seven years by reason of ward. 2 

On 26th November 1500, Bobert Scott of Allanhauch resigned into the 
hands of Walter Scott of Branxholm, as lord-superior, his husband lands of 
the town of Quhitchester, in the barony of Branxholm and shire of Box- 
burgh, to remain with Walter and his heirs in security of 100 merks Scots, 
due by Bobert Scott to Alexander Cokburn of Ormiston Hall. A notarial 
instrument on this resignation was made in the Cemetery of the Collegiate 
Church of St. Giles, Edinburgh. 3 

The name of Sir Walter Scott of Buccleuch appears in connection with 
the marriage of King James the Fourth with the Princess Margaret, daughter 
of Henry the Seventh of England, which, after much negotiation, was con- 
cluded upon by the Commissioners of both kingdoms at the Boyal Palace of 
Bichmond, on 4th January 1502-3. He was a witness to the infeftment of 
Queen Margaret in her jointure lands of the Forest under her marriage-eon- 
tract, at the place of Galashiels, in June 1503. The queen was infefted in 
these lands by John Murray of Fawlahill, Sheriff of Selkirk, at that time 
usurper of the office. 4 It had been agreed upon by the Commissioners of 
both kingdoms that the Princess, before the 1st July 1503, should be infefted 
in all the lands, castles, and other possessions usually held by the queen- 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 102. 

2 Ibid. p. 103. 

3 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 104. 

4 Kymer's Fcedera, vol. xiii. pp. 73, 74. 


dowagers of Scotland ; and if these should be found insufficient to yield a 
yearly revenue of £2000 sterling, or £6000 Scots, King James should assign 
other lands to her to make up the deficiency. 

Sir Walter Scott married Elizabeth Kerr, daughter of Walter Kerr of 
Cessford, widow of Philip Rutherford, son and heir-apparent of James 
Rutherford of that Ilk, by whom he had two sons, Sir Walter Scott, who 
succeeded him, and William Scott of Whitehope. This William Scott 
obtained a charter of the lands of Whitehope from James Douglas of Drum- 
lanrig, on the 17th of July 1515. He appears to have died without issue 
within seven or eight years after that date, as his brother, Sir Walter, was 
heir to him in 1523. 

Sir Walter Scott died before 15th April 1504, as appears from the 
precept of that date by Patrick, Earl of Both well, for infefting Walter Scott, 
as heir to his father Sir Walter Scott, in the lands of Roberthill, Mantorig, 
and Turnur. 1 

Elizabeth Kerr survived her husband for the long period of forty-four 
years, that is till 19th October 1548, when she met a cruel fate in her 
residence, the tower of Catslack, in Yarrow, havirig been burned to death in 
the course of the persistent incursions by the English on the possessions of 
her son. 2 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 106. - Ibid. p. 1S7. 




ELIZABETH CARMICHAEL (of Hyndford), his first Wife. 
JANET KERR (of Fernihirst), his second Wife. 
JANET BETOUN (of Creich), his third Wife. 

(3IR WALTER SCOTT succeeded his father, of the same name, on the 
death of the latter in the year 1504. 1 For nearly half a century this 
Knight of Buccleuch held the family estates, and being a man of an active, 
enterprising, and fearless character, he was engaged during that period in 
many perilous adventures. Satchells describes him as a man — 

" That durst have shewn his face 
" To him that was as stout as Hercules." 2 

He led a body of his retainers at two great battles, Flodden and Pinkie, and 
on other occasions rendered important military services to his sovereign. 
He had the credit of being an inveterate enemy of England, and, as a border 
chieftain, he often made raids into that kingdom, as his own lands and 
tenants frequently suffered from the marauding incursions of the English 

Although Sir Walter Scott possessed the Buccleuch estates for nearly 
fifty years, being the longest period of possession of any of the family pre- 
vious to his time, he might have continued much longer in possession if 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 106. - History of the Name of Scot, p. 4S. 

VOL. I. I 


he had been allowed to die a natural death. But after escaping the perils of 
several pitched battles and many minor conflicts, he met with a violent death 
at the hands of another great border race, the Kerrs of Cessford, ancestors 
of the Duke of Eoxburghe, assisted by their kindred the Kerrs of Fernihirst, 
another great border house, the ancestors of the Marquis of Lothian. 

Occupying for such a length of time so prominent a position as this 
Baron of Buccleuch did, it is remarkable that there is not preserved a single 
letter written by him, nor a single letter written to him. The entire loss of 
letters addressed to him may be accounted for by the flames kindled by the 
English invaders, under the Earl of Northumberland, in 1532, which con- 
sumed the Castle of Branxholm ; and by the destruction of his property at a 
later date. The correspondence of this Sir Walter Scott being entirely 
wanting for instructing his personal history, it can only be obtained indirectly 
from the public correspondence of the period, in so far as it relates to him. 

At the time of Sir Walter's succession to his father, he was in minority, 
and his affairs were managed by his kinsman, Walter Scott of Howpaslot, 
who was appointed to the office of tutor by his father, Sir Walter Scott of 

The first and greatest battle in which this bold Borderer was engaged, 
about nine years after his succession, was the fatal field of Flodden. He 
was probably knighted at that battle, as he thenceforth figures as a knight. 
The battle was fought on 9th September 1513. In August preceding, King 
James the Fourth, having resolved to support his ally, Louis the Twelfth of 
France, against King Henry the Eighth of England, summoned all who could 
bear arms to meet him at the Borough Muir, near Edinburgh. From the 
popularity of the king an army assembled, stated by the chroniclers to have 
been not less than 100,000 men. But in consequence of the imprudent 
delays of the king, and other circumstances, this numerous army gradually 
became reduced by desertions to about 30,000, which contained a dispro- 
portionate number of lords and gentlemen. This was the number which 
encountered the English army under the Earl of Surrey. After an obstinate 



and sanguinary contest for three hours, the Scots were totally defeated, with 
the loss of their King, thirteen Earls, thirteen Lords, five eldest sons of Peers, 
about fifty gentlemen and chiefs of families, and of common soldiers about 
10,000 men. The loss of the English, though they gained the victory, was 
also great. 

Sir Walter Scott escaped the fate of so many of his countrymen on that 
fatal day. But the list of the slain included not a few of his clan, among 
whom was his kinsman, Sir Alexander Scott of Hassenden. Satchells, in 
enumerating the Scotts of Hassenden among the cadets of the House of 
Buccleuch, does not omit honourably to record the fall of this cadet at a 
battle which spread lamentation and mourning throughout the whole land of 

" From the family of Buckcleuch, 

There has sprung many a man, 

Four hundred years ago ; 

Hassinden he was one, 

Descended of that line, and still he doth remain, 

And evident's speaks truth, the same the truth proclaims 

Though chronicles be lost from many a family, 

These characters that remain the truth they let us see, 

Sir Alexander Scot of Hassinden was knight, 

With good King James the Fourth, he was killed at Flowdon fight. 

From Hassinden did spring before that time 

The families of Wall, Delorain, and Hainin?." 1 

King James the Fifth, who was born on 10th April 1512, was little more 
than a year old at the time of his father's death. A long minority gave 
ample scope for State intrigue ; and it was during this period that two 
factions, the French and the English, arose in Scotland, which continued 
to disturb the kingdom more or less till it was united with England under 
one monarch. About the 15th October 1513, a Parliament met at Perth; 
the coronation of the king was celebrated, and it was agreed that the Queen- 

1 History of the Name of Scot, p. 40. 



Dowager, Margaret, should hold the reins of Government till the appointment 
of a Eegent by a future Parliament. John, Duke of Albany (the son of 
Alexander, who was banished by his brother, King James the Third), 'who 
was next heir to the crown of Scotland, failing the offspring of his cousin, 
King James the Fourth, was invited to assume the regency. Albany arrived 
at Dumbarton 18th May 1515. At a Parliament assembled at Edinburgh 
on 1 2th July, after being restored to his honours and estates, he was invested 
with the regency, and proclaimed Protector and Governor of Scotland. 

Sir Walter Scott supported the interests, and acquired the favour, of John, 
Duke of Albany, the Regent, by the importance of his services. 

On 23d September 1516, the Eegent promised, in his own name and in 
that of the king, to grant to Sir Walter Scott of Branxholm, for his good, 
true, and faithful service done to the king and the regent, and for the 
welfare of the realm, a new infeftment under the Great Seal, in the best 
form, whenever he pleased, in all his lands and heritages held immediately 
of the Crown, with creation and annexation thereof in baronies. 1 

Owing, perhaps, to his minority, and the troubles consequent on the 
death of King James the Fourth at Flodden, several years elapsed before Sir 
Walter Scott was retoured as heir to his father in the family estates. At 
length, on the 27th of October 1517, Sir Walter was retoured heir to his 
father, Sir Walter, in the lands of Buccleuch, Eankilburn, the half of the 
lands of Branxholm, the whole lands of Quhitchester, Lempetlaw, Elryg, all 
which are then said to be waste and their values in time of peace given ; in 
the six husband lands of Grimislaw called Porter's Lands, the lands of 
Hecfurd, the six pound lands of Langtoun, in the eight husband lands in 
Grimislaw, in the shire of Roxburgh, and in the barony of Branxholm by 
annexation, which are not said to be waste, but their respective values then 
and in time of peace are given as the same. All these lands were held in 
chief of the king, except the eight husband lands of Grimislaw, which were 
held of Patrick, Earl of Bothwell ; and they had been in the hands of the 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 131. 



lord-superior for fourteen years through the decease of Sir Walter Scott of 
Brauxholm, — his heir, Sir Walter Scott, Knight, not having prosecuted his 
right during these years. 1 

In those semi-barbarous times, when deeds of violence and spoliation 
were common, it was important for religious houses to be protected by a 
strong hand, and it was customary for the heads of these establishments to 
intrust the administration of their lands and baronies to a powerful feudal 
neighbouring chieftain. In this way also they were saved from being- 
brought into direct collision with their vassals and others in the territories 
which belonged to them. 

Sir Walter Scott of Buccleuch was resident in the neighbourhood of 
several of the lands belonging to the abbot and convent of Melrose, and from 
the number of retainers and others whom he could bring into the field, he was 
enabled to afford personal protection to that abbey from the inroads of the 
English, or the English borderers, to which it was particularly liable. He 
had, besides, rendered to it at different times important services. In consi- 
deration of the services then rendered by him, which are described as " divers 
diligent labours and travails which he and his kin and friends had undergone 
for the good of the abbey," he was appointed by Eobert, the abbot, and the con- 
vent of Melrose, on 20th December 1519, bailie of all the abbey lands called 
Melrose lands, except Kylesmure and their lands in Carrick and Kithsdale, 
for nineteen years, with all the powers and privileges belonging to that office. 2 

The management of the abbey lands was thus delegated to a powerful 
baron. But the abbot was careful to protect the tenants, and to secure good 
government on the part of the depute. By an obligation of the same date, 
Sir Walter Scott became bound to the abbot and convent not to attempt to 
usurp or to set any lands belonging to the abbey, and not to eject or put in 
any tenant or servant in their lands without the special command of the 
abbot and convent, nor to raise or use any new custom or service upon 
their tenants, except such as former bailies had done, nor take, waste, nor 
1 Vol. ii. of this work, pp. 131-133. 2 Ibid. p. 133. 


destroy the woods of the abbot and convent, nor fish in their waters without 
special licence, etc. 1 

The office of bailie of Melrose was soon after made hereditary in Sir 
Walter Scott, and the farms of the abbey's lands of Northhouse and Thirlstane 
were granted for the fee of the office. 2 The appointment was confirmed by 
Lawrence, Bishop of Preneste, by a charter given at St. Peter's at Eome, under 
the seal of the office of the Penitentiary, 17th May 1525. The Officials 
in the dioceses are thereby charged not to permit Sir Walter Scott to be 
molested by any persons, whether ecclesiastics or laymen, in the enjoyment 
of his office. 3 

After the death of King James the Fourth, Margaret, the Queen-Dowager, 
was, by the Parliament which met in July 1514, temporarily invested with 
the regency. But by her sudden and imprudent marriage with the Earl of 
Angus she forfeited her office of Eegent in terms of the will of the late king, 
and by the law of the kingdom. Her power in the State was thus greatly 
weakened, though the course of events and her constant intrigues contributed 
to restore her to power. 

Sir Walter Scott of Buccleuch, who was a supporter of the Duke of 
Albany and the French faction, became involved in a dispute with the Queen- 
Dowager in connection with the lands in Ettrick Forest, which were settled 
on her as a jointure. He was charged with retaining part of her dower 
arising from this source. The Earl of Arran, in a letter to Dacre, dated 
18th October 1524, writes that the Queen-Dowager's influence had been so 
small that Scott of Buccleuch had long retained part of her dower, worth 
4000 merks a year. For this reason, after she had gained the ascendency 
over her infant son, she committed Sir Walter Scott and Kerr of Cessford 
prisoners to Edinburgh Castle. But both of them were too powerful for the 
Government to keep them long in prison. 4 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 135. 4 Rymer's Fcedera, torn. xiii. p. Co'. 

2 Ibid. p. 142. Chalmers' Caledonia, vol. ii. pp. 985, 986. 

3 Ibid. p. 143. 



Queen Margaret, in a letter to the Duke of Norfolk, dated 11th October 
[1524], 1 while informing him of her having imprisoned the Laird of Buccleuch, 
gives as the reason that he and Ker of Cessford, from the feud that existed 
between them, were the principal cause of the disorder and disorganisation 
that prevailed on the borders. Buccleuch she represented as being specially 
to blame, and as notorious for the encouragement he gave to thieves who 
plundered the English borders. After referring to the obstruction to good 
rule upon the borders, through the inveterate feud between the Laird of 
Cessford and the Laird of Buccleuch, and the slaughter in consequence, she 
adds : — 

" Wherefore I thought best to put them both in the Castle of Edinburgh, 
until that they find a way how the borders may be well ruled, seeing it is in their 
hands to do and they will, and not to let them break the borders for their evil 
will among themselves. And herein I pray you send me your mind, my Lord, 
as ye think best that I do ; for I assure you that thir men may do great evil, and 
specially the Laird of Buccleuch ; and that for my part I have found, for he hath 
holden from me 4000 merks yearly, since the field which is my conjunct infeft- 
ment. . . . Since that the Laird of Cessford and the Laird of Buccleuch was put 
in the Castle of Edinburgh, the Earl of Lennox hath past his way without license, 
and in despite, and thinketh to make the break that he may, and to solicit other 
Lords to take his part ; for the said Laird of Buccleuch was his man, and did the 
greatest evils that might be done, and took part plainly with thieves, as is well 
known." 2 

Norfolk, in a letter to Wolsey, dated 14th September [1524], says : — 
" I shall write to her [Queen Margaret] as pleasantly as I can, so as I have done 
at all times, as will appear by the copies of my letters, and shall advise her 
eftsones to keep the king her son at Edinburgh, and if she can by any good means, 
her honour saved, reconcile the Earl of Lennox ; and to detain the Lord of Buc- 
cleuch and the Lord of Cessford, unto the time she may have sure pledges of them 
for observing of justice upon the borders." 3 

1 The date of the month is probably a mis- 
take, it being evident from ^Norfolk's letter 
of the 4th of September that this is the 
queen's letter which he received on that da}'. 

2 State Papers, Henry viii., part iv. pp. 
129, 130, 133. 

3 Ibid. p. 136. 



Norfolk was quite as ready to "break the borders" as Buccleuch, and 
much of the disturbance of that time was due to King Henry's policy of 
inciting the English borderers to make inroads into Scotland. In the pre- 
vious year a raid was made into Scotland from all parts of the Marches, 
Norfolk promising the king to " lett slippe secretlie them of Tindaill and 
Eiddisdaill for th' annoyance of Scotlande — God sende them all goode 
spede ! " The Earl of Surrey, in a letter to Wolsey, describes the result, " that 
Sir Eauf Fenwyke on hys quarter and Sir William Heron on hys quarter 
have made two very good roodes, and have gotten much insight gear, catall, 
horse, and prisoners, and here returned without los." 1 The retaliation by 
Buccleuch was not undeserved. 

Soon after, Buccleuch effected his escape from the Castle of Edinburgh. 
Norfolk, in a letter to Wolsey, dated Newcastle, 16th October [1524], in men- 
tioning this fact, speaks of him in such a manner as to show that his power 
as a chieftain was so great in Liddesdale, that he would be a formidable 
opponent even to the Government should it there appear against him. " And 
now the Lord of Buccleuch being escaped, I believe the said Earl of Arran 
(whom Norfolk describes as ' the light unwise Earl of Arran') shall not dare 
come in Lydersdale ; and my Lord Dacre is of like opinion, as your Grace 
may perceive by his letter sent to me." 2 

In the year 1524, Queen Margaret, almost immediately after the de- 
parture of the Duke of Albany, the Kegent, for France, obtained an Act of 
Council, declaring that the King, though only ten years of age, had assumed 
the administration of public affairs. Her object was that the supreme power 
in the State should be in her own hands. But she again weakened her 
power in the State by her love intrigues. Having become alienated from 
the Earl of Angus, from whom she desired to be divorced, she fell in love 
with Henry Stewart, second son of Andrew, third Lord Avandale, whom she 
appointed Treasurer in 1524, and married in the following year, after 

1 Charlton's North Tyndale, p. 4. 

- State Papers, Henry viii., part iv. p. 183. 



obtaining a divorce from the Earl of Angus. The queen was nearly as fickle 
with her husbands as her brother, King Henry the Eighth, with his wives. 
She thus alienated from her many of the nobility, among whom was the Earl 
of Lennox, who now joined with the Earl of Angus, though Angus was the head 
of the English faction in Scotland. Lennox was besides deeply indignant at 
her imprisonment of Sir Walter Scott of Buccleuch, his friend and ally. 

Sir Walter Scott was closely associated with the Earls of Angus and 
Lennox in opposition to Queen Margaret and the party by which she was 
supported. Shortly after his escape from the Castle of Edinburgh, he and 
these Earls, with the Master of Kilmaurs and other gentlemen, " upon Wed- 
nesday last," says Magnus in a letter to Wolsey, dated 26th November [1524], 
" about four o'clock in the morning, came suddenly over the walls of Edinburgh, 
opened the gates, and entered with 400 men." They caused proclamation to 
be made at the Cross near the Church of Saint Giles that they had come as the 
king's faithful subjects to serve him, intending to do hurt or displeasure to no 
one, and commanded that all their company should pay well and punctually for 
everything that they took. The two Earls then appeared before the Lords of 
Council, and complained that sundry commands, which proceeded from such 
as were hostile to them, had been given to them by the king upon pain of 
treason, contrary to their deserts, and stated that the cause of their coming was 
to declare their minds to the Lords of Council without doing any further 
displeasure to any person. The Council appointed two of their number, the 
Bishop of Aberdeen and the Abbot of Cambuskenneth, to visit the queen at 
the Abbey ; and at the request of the Lords, Magnus, the English ambassador 
at the Court of Scotland, and other Englishmen of the embassy, accompanied 
them. They were not favourably received. The Earls of Angus and Lennox 
continued in the town till four o'clock in the afternoon, when at the king's 
command they left it and proceeded to Dalkeith. Immediately after their 
departure, the queen with the young king, her son, went in the evening by 
torch-light from the Abbey to the Castle, where she continued. 1 

1 State Papers, Henry vm. , vol. iv. pp. 256-2.5S. 
VOL. I. K 



Although Sir Walter Scott was now associated with the Earl of Angus, 
the head of the English faction in Scotland, he did not take this position 
from any friendly feeling towards England, but solely in reference to the 
state of parties otherwise in Scotland. His former hostile feeling towards 
the English was not considered by the Government to be in the least 
abated. That this was the case, is shown by a letter from Magnus to Wolsey, 
dated at Edinburgh, 24th January [1524-5], advising that if the king or 
Wolsey directed to Scotland any letters relating to unity and concord 
between the two kingdoms, care should be taken at their coming towards the 
borders, and especially within Scotland, for getting them safely conveyed. 
" For," says he, " I have warning from the good Priors of Coldstream that 
watch would be laid for taking of the post with our letters coming or going. 
I know not by whose occasion : I suspect, and so do others, the Lord of Buc- 
cleuch, who hath no favour to England, as I am informed. I purpose to send 
forth feigned letters, to the intent the matter may be proved." 1 

Towards the end of the year 1524 and the beginning of the year 1525, 
great differences existed between Queen Margaret and several of the Lords 
relating to the preservation of the king's person, his education and good 
government in his tender years, the rule and due administration of justice, 
and the establishment of peace between Scotland and England. Parties at 
this time may be stated thus : — On the side of the queen were the Earls of 
Arran, Moray, Eglinton, and Cassillis. Opposed to the queen were James 
Betoun, Archbishop of St. Andrews, Gavin, Bishop of Aberdeen, John, Prior of 
St. Andrews, and other Bishops ; the Earls of Angus, Lennox, Argyll ; Sir 
Walter Scott of Buccleuch, and other Barons. Against these Lords and 
Barons the Council issued a proclamation, stating that the king, with the 
advice of the Parliament, had assumed the government, and that the 
keeping of his person until his perfect age was committed to the queen. 
It further states that the king had written letters to James, Archbishop of 
St. Andrews, Gavin, Bishop of Aberdeen, and John, Prior of St. Andrews, 

1 State Papers, Henry VIII., vol. iv. p. 304. 


desiring them to come to him to the town of Edinburgh to give their best 
advice to him and his mother, and the Lords of Council, on sundry weighty 
matters, but that the Bishops and Prior had contemptuously disobeyed 
these letters. It further states that they had made attempts against his 
Majesty's estate and authority in holding treasonable meetings in St. Andrews 
and other places, with Archibald, Earl of Angus, John, Earl of Lennox, 
Walter Scott of Branxholm, knight, and others, and had lately drawn to 
their perverse and treasonable opinion Colin, Earl of Argyll, with divers 
other great men, tending to the utter destruction of the royal estate and 
authority, and to the usurping thereof to themselves and their complices. 
It therefore commands his Majesty's sheriff of Edinburgh and his deputes, 
and his Majesty's sheriffs in other parts, to charge, by open proclamation, his 
Majesty's lieges that none of them ride or go in manner of convocation or 
gathering in company with the Bishops and Prior, or any of them, nor to con- 
vene with them or any of them at meetings, nor with Colin, Earl of Argyll, 
as long as he remains in the corrupt, perverse, and treasonable opinion of the 
Bishops and Prior, under the pain of losing life, lands, and goods. 1 

The Lords opposed to Queen Margaret convened at Stirling on 6th 
February 1524-5, and many messages passed between the queen and them for 
putting an end to their differences. The queen would have had the Lords who 
professed to be of her party to repress the other party by force, but this they 
declined to do. The Earls of Arran, Moray, Eglinton, and Cassillis, the Lord 
Maxwell, Dan Carre of Cessford, and Mark Cany went into the castle to the 
king and queen, each of them taking one or two servants at the most. The 
city gates were then opened by the authorities, and soon after midnight the 
Earls of Angus and Lennox entered into Edinburgh with 600 or 700 men. 

The Earl of Angus having been made Warden of the East and Middle 
Marches of Scotland, Sir Walter Scott of Buccleuch was not less prompt than 

1 State Papers, Henry viu., vol. iv. pp. 315, tlie great variance of Mark and Dan Carre, 
316. Lord of Cessford, with the Lord of Buccleuch, 

2 Magnus, in a letter to Wolsey, dated at their near kinsman. (State Papers, Henry 
Edinburgh, 22d February 1524-5, refers to vm., vol. iv. p. 330.) 


the Border chiefs of other families of rank or distinction in offering to the 
Earl his service. Magnus, in a letter to Wolsey, dated at Edinburgh, the last 
day of March 1525-6, after stating the Earl's appointment to be warden, 
says : — " Here have been before my Lord Chancellor and the said Earl, the 
Lord Hoome, the Lord of Buccleuch, all the Carres, and other landed and 
hedesnien of the said Marches, and are bounden for themselves, their servants 
and tenants, to keep good rule upon the Borders, as well within England as 
Scotland, and to attend upon the said Earl when he shall call upon them." 1 

The Scotts who compeared before the Lords were represented by Walter 
Scott of Buccleuch, Walter Scott of Synton, Bobert Scott of Allanhauch, 
Adam Scott in Tushilaw, and Bobert Scott, Tutor of Howpaslot. They 
bound themselves to assist the Earl of Angus " for the forthputting of all 
Liddisdale meune, Eskdale and Ewisdale, their wives and bairns, now dwell- 
ing within the bounds of Tevidale, Ettrick Forest, and bounds adjacent 
thereto, and hold them furth of the same in time to come." 2 

The inhabitants of Liddesdale, Eskdale, Ewisdale, and the debateable 
land, of whom the Armstrongs were the most powerful, were an ever-recur- 
ring source of trouble to the Borders on both sides. On the English side the 
Tyndale and Bedesdale men were the most intractable. In the years 1524 
and 1525 the arm of the church was had recourse to, on both sides of the 
Border ; and the Archbishop of Glasgow and the Bishop of Durham almost 
simultaneously launched the terrors of excommunication, chiefly against 
Liddesdale and Tyndale, and laid their churches under interdict. The 
borderers gave no heed to the cursing, and William Frankelyn, writing to 
Wolsey in 1524, informs the Cardinal that all the churches of Tyndale had 
been interdicted " which the thieves there temerariously disobeyed, and 
caused a Scots frere (friar), the sayd interdiction notwithstanding, to mynistre 
them theyre communion of his facion ; and one Ector Charlton, one of there 
capeteynes, resaved the parsons dewties and served them all of wyne." 3 

1 State Papers, Henry viii., vol. iv. p. 353. 2 Pitcairn's Criminal Trials, vol. i. pp. 

3 Charlton's North Tyndale, p. 5. 127-9. 


The clans who inhabited these districts were strengthened by a number of 
" broken men," nominally Scots or English, but frequently changing sides as 
they found it to their interest, and were as troublesome to their friends as to 
their enemies. Sometimes they coalesced, and on one occasion several of the 
Armstrongs, together with Tyndale men, having been committed to ward in the 
castle of Newcastle, Sir William Lisle, assisted by the Armstrongs, rode to 
Newcastle, broke open the prison, and set free their friends. Lisle sought 
refuge on the Scottish side of the Border, and collecting together the broken 
men of both countries, assumed a kind of leadership, and was for a consider- 
able time a source of much trouble to the wardens on both sides. He was 
eventually so hard pressed that the Earl of Northumberland reports to Wolsey 
that in his way " coming from the High Mass there came William Lisle, 
Humphrey Lisle, William Charlton, and their adherents, in all the number 
of eighteen persons, in their lynnen clothes, and halters about their necks, 
kneeling upon their knees, in very humble and lowly manner submitted 
themselves to the king's highness mercy." Lisle and his accomplices were 
afterwards executed, with the exception of his son Humphrey, who emitted a 
long confession, with a formidable list of the crimes committed by the band. 1 
The Earl of Northumberland, in a letter to Wolsey, states that " Nich Lysle 
confessed at his death that they were supported by Angus, Bothwell, and 
Maxwell." Angus, on the other hand, asserts in letters to Henry the Eighth 
and Wolsey, that he did his utmost to deprive the Lisles of all support in 
Scotland, otherwise they might have avoided subjection to Henry's officers. 2 

Complaints by the English wardens of the wardenship of Angus were 
not uncommon; of his refusal to give redress, and of his being ruled only 
by Mark Ker and the Lord of Buccleuch, who were notorious enemies of 
the English. Magnus, who communicated this information to the Chancellor 
of Scotland, begs that the truce may be kept as it was before the wardenship 
of Angus, since whose time many a poor man had been rained. 3 

1 State Papers, Foreign and Domestic, 3 Letter,datedBerwick,llthFebruary [152G], 

Heury viii., vol. iv. part it. p. 1470, etc. in Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, 

- Ib'id. pp. 1743, 1813, 1817. in the reign of Henry vm., vol. iv. p. 8S9. 



In the Parliament of July 1525, a Council was chosen to attend 
the king and to govern the realm, consisting of the Archbishops of 
St. Andrews and Glasgow, the Bishops of Aberdeen and Dunblane, the 
Earls of Angus, Arran, Argyll, and Lennox. The queen was to be con- 
stant president of the Council. These Lords were to be in attendance on 
the king by rotation; and in January 1525-6, when it was the duty of 
the Earl of Arran to attend the king, Buccleuch, with a large body of 
men, consisting chiefly of Scotts, Kerrs, Turnbulls, and others, was concerned 
in an attempt against that Earl, who was firmly attached to the cause of 
Queen Margaret. 

For this attempt, letters of pardon, dated at Edinburgh, 9th May 1526, 
were granted by King James the Fifth under the Privy Seal, with advice of 
his Lords of Council, in favour of Sir Walter Scott of Branxholm, Knight, and 
more than one hundred and fifty others. Pardon is granted for their treason- 
able art and part of the convocation of the king's lieges, and coming " in feir 
of weir" in company with George, Lord Home, David Home of Wedderburn, 
and other rebels to Edinburgh, and thence to Stirling, against James, Earl of 
Arran, then his Majesty's lieutenant ; and for all other crimes whatsoever 
committed by them in time past, the crime of treason against his Majesty's 
own person being alone excepted. The letters were to continue in full 
force for nineteen years. 1 

In July 1525, a serious breach of the peace in the town of Edinburgh was 
committed by Sir Walter Scott, in company with William, Master of Glen- 
cairn, Nmian Crichtoun of Ballibucht, and John Dunbar of Mochrum. But 
in consideration of the good and thankful service done and to be done by 
them to the king and the Government, they obtained letters of remission, 
dated 20th July 1525, from the Council, for the breach of the peace and 
crime committed by them. These letters were, however, granted to them 
upon condition that they should come to the granters and offer to submit 
themselves to punishment in order to repress murmurs among the people and 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 145. 


among strangers, and for " stanching " the common woes of the realm. They 
were to be put to no further punishment, except that they were to pass to the 
places of Craigmillar, Niddry, Edmonstoun, Eestalrig, or Brunstoun, where 
they were to remain not as prisoners, nor were the lairds of these places to 
receive them in that manner, but for silencing the murmurs of the people, 
and to show that they obeyed the Lords. 1 

Sir Walter Scott again appears as the opponent of the Earl of Angus : 
so quickly do we find the actors on the stage in those times changing sides. 
In the year 1526, King James weot to Jedburgh to hold a Justiciary Court. 
The court having met, many complaints of reiff, slaughter, and oppression 
were made. It is alleged that so corrupt was the administration of justice, 
that without bribes little justice could be obtained, and that many of the 
kin, friends, and servants of the Earl of Angus, who, with the rest of the 
Douglases, ruled as they pleased, had sentences unjustly passed in their 
favour, to the dissatisfaction of the King and the other Lords, who desired 
justice to be impartially administered. Impatient of their assumption and 
arbitrary exercise of power, the king, by a secret letter, written with his own 
band, to Sir Walter Scott, besought him to come with his kin and friends and 
all the forces he could muster, to Melrose, in order to intercept his Majesty 
returning to Edinburgh, and emancipate him from the power of the Douglases. 
This letter the king sent secretly lay one of his own servants. Delighted 
in being honoured with such a commission from his sovereign, and intent 
upon its execution, Sir Walter Scott assembled all his kin and friends, and 
whomsoever he could prevail upon to join him, to the number of six hundred 
spears of Liddesdale and Annandale, and rode with them to Melrose, where 
the king was to spend the night on his way to Edinbiu-gh. 

Soon after Lord Home, the Lairds of Cessford and Fernihirst, had taken 
leave of the king, Buccleuch with his company appeared in sight in battle 
array, and boldly advanced to attempt the liberation of the king from the 
control of Angus. But the latter and his friends, on discovering that it was 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 145. 



Buccleuch and his followers, advanced to fight them. " Sir," said the Earl 
of Angus to the king, " yon is Buccleuch, and thieves of Annandale with 
him, to unheset your grace from the gate. I avow to God they shall 
either fight or flee ; and ye shall tarry here on this knowe, and my brother 
George with you, with any other company you please ; and I shall pass 
yon thieves off the ground, and red the gate unto your grace, or else die 
for it." The king, as desired, remained where he was, attended by George 
Douglas, the Earl of Lennox, Lord Erskine, and other lords. But all the 
others marched with the Earl of Angus against Buccleuch, who encountered 
them in a field near Melrose. The victory at first was uncertain, but 
Lord Home having heard how matters stood, returned with haste to the 
king, accompanied with the Lairds of Cessford and Fernihirst, with four- 
score spears, and made so vigorous an attack on the lap and wing of 
Buccleuch's men, that Buccleuch and his friends were repulsed and fled. 
They were furiously pursued, especially by the Lairds of Fernihirst and 
Cessford ; but when, at the foot of a path, the Laird of Cessford was 
slain by the stroke of a spear, by one Eliot, a servant to Buccleuch, the 
pursuit ceased Buccleuch lost eighty of his men. This conflict took 
place on 25th July 1526, at Darnwick, on the Tweed, at the bridge above 
Melrose. 1 

This exploit of the Lord of Buccleuch was celebrated in Latin verse by a 
contemporary writer, Mr. John Johnston, a colleague of Andrew Melville, 
and Professor in the University of St. Andrews, in his "Heroes ex omni 
Historia Scotica lectissimi." 2 

1 Tradition has preserved several names, 
taken from the different incidents of the 
fight, as the Charge-Law, where Buccleuch 
drew up his men for the onset ; the Skirmish 
Hill, where the battle was fought ; and Turn- 
again, a small eminence where the beaten 
party rallied, and where Sir Andrew Kerr of 
Cessford fell as he headed the pursuit. 

(Border Antiquities, by Sir Walter Scott, 
vol. ii. Appendix No. II., p. xiv.) 

2 Printed in 1603. Johnston is the author 
of a number of other works, now all of con- 
siderable rarity. He was held in high esteem 
by the most eminent of his contemporaries, 
not only for his literary attainments, but for 
his honourable character. 


" Valterius Scotus Balcluchius 

Egregio suscepto facinore libertate Regis, ac aliis rebus gestis clarus, sub 
Jacobo V. Anno Christi 1526." 

" Intentata aliis nullique audita priorum 

Audet, nee pavidum morsve, metusve quatit, 
Libertatem aliis soliti transcribere Reges ; 
Subreptam hanc Regi restituisse paras, 
Si vincis, quanta succedunt prasmia dextree ! 

Sin victus, falsas spes jace, pone animam. 
Hostica vis nocuit : stant altse robora mentis 

Atque decus. Vincet, Rege probante, fides. 

Insita queis animis virtus, quosque acrior ardor 

Obsidet, obscuris nox premat an tenebris?" 

Which may be thus translated : — 

Walter Scott of Buccleuch 
Distinguished for his famous enterprise to set the King at liberty, and other 
exploits. A.D. 1526. 

He dares do that which ev'n his ancestors, 

So brave and fearless, would have shunned. Unknown 

To him is fear. On death he looks with calm 

Untroubled eye. For when the king hath lost 

The freedom 'twas his wont to give, thou art 

With ardour keen and ready hand prepar'd 

To give thy life that so he may be free. 

And if thou conquerest, O ! how great reward. 

But if o'erwhelming force shall master thee, 

And if thy noble life be sacrificed, 

The strength and honour of thy lofty mind 

Remain unharm'd. For, those whose souls are fill'd 

With courage and with honour, can the gloom 

Of darkness ne'er o'erwhelm. 

The unhappy slaughter of Cessford, which occurred in this conflict, caused 
a standing feud between the Scotts and Kerrs, which, after being continued 

VOL. I. L 


for many years, ultimately culminated in the cruel retaliating slaughter of 
Buccleuch by the Kerrs, in the manner related in the sequel of this Memoir. 

The Earl of Angus returned exultant at the victory, and proceeded with 
the king to Melrose, where they remained all night. On the morning of 
the following day he set out for Edinburgh with the king, who was much 
depressed at the slaughter of Cessford, and of many other gentlemen and 
yeomen who were slain by Buccleuch, to the number of nearly a hundred, 
fighting in defence of their sovereign, and through the private letter which he 
had written to Buccleuch. 1 For this enterprise a summons of treason was 
raised against Buccleuch and others by the Earl of Angus. But he was ulti- 
mately acquitted, as afterwards shown. 

The defeat of Buccleuch near Melrose was followed by a more powerful 
but unsuccessful effort, made by the Earl of Lennox, to accomplish the same 
object. Having raised an army of 12,000 men, he set out from Stirling and 
marched towards Edinburgh to liberate the king. Undaunted by his former 
defeat and the proceedings against him for treason, and knowing the real 
desire of the king to be liberated from Angus, Buccleuch, with many of his fol- 
lowers who had escaped at Melrose, joined with Lennox. At the river Avon, 
about a mile to the west of the town of Linlithgow, Lennox was encountered, 
4th September 1526, by the troops of his uncle, the Earl of Arran, which 
were supported by a body of men led by Angus. Lennox was completely 
routed, with considerable loss, and he himself was among the slain. 2 

Friendly relations between Buccleuch and Angus must now be under- 
stood as having terminated. Buccleuch had shown himself abundantly 
earnest and energetic on behalf of the emancipation of his sovereign, but he 
had incurred by these two attempts the deep resentment of Angus. 

By the Parliament held at Edinburgh, 12th November 1526, Buccleuch 
was more graciously dealt with than some others. Sir Christopher Dacre, 
writing to Lord Dacre on 2d December 1526, enumerates the lands which 

1 Lindsay of Pitscottie's History of Scot- - The Lennox, by William Fraser, vol. i. 

land, edit. Edin. 1778, pp. 209-212. p. 359. 


had been forfeited after the defeat of Lennox, and states that " The Laird 
of Buccleuch has a respect and not forfeited, and will get his peace, and was 
at Linlithgow, both Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday last, which is great 
displeasure to the Carres." 1 

Yet so long as the Earl of Angus had power, Buccleuch had in him an 
enemy of whom he had good reason to be afraid. Notwithstanding the 
respect of the king which Buccleuch possessed, he was compelled to leave 
the kingdom and remove to France. He was required to find cautioners, 
binding themselves under a penalty of £10,000 Scots, that he would not 
return to Scotland without the king's licence. 2 

Meanwhile the friends of Sir Walter were indefatigable in their endea- 
vours to obtain a pardon for him for his attempts in favour of the king, and 
permission for him to return from France, where he had taken shelter 
from the vengeance of Angus. Nor did the king forget the well-intended, 
though ineffectual, efforts of Sir Walter to liberate him from the thraldom of 
the Douglases. His anxiety to shield Buccleuch from any evil consequences 
resulting from the unsuccessful attempt at Melrose is shown by the letters of 
respite, continuing the calling of the summons of treason from time to time. 
The letters contain a protection, under the king's signature, to Buccleuch and 
his friends, forbidding any one, under penalty of treason, to molest them. 3 
This course of proceeding continued until the 3d December 1527, when a 
remission was granted by King James, with advice of the Lords of his Council, 
to Sir Walter Scott of Branxholm, and others, for their treasonable art and 
part " of arraying of fields and battles at Melrose, and beside Linlithgow," 
against the authority of the king, who was there personally present with 
his banner displayed, and for all other offences committed by them in time 
past. 4 

In the same year the king appointed Sir Walter principal " copper," or 
cupbearer, with all the fees and duties pertaining to the office, and power to 

1 State Papers, Henry viii., vol. iv. p. 461. 3 Buccleuch Charter-room. 

2 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 150. 4 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 149. 


appoint deputies. The letter of appointment states that for " certane 
ressonable caussis " he could not at that time enter on his duties. 1 The king 
waa anxious to befriend him, but could not openly employ him near his 
person so long as Angus remained in power. 

A pardon by the king passed the Great Seal on the 10th of February 
following, in favour of Sir Walter, for all crimes prior to that date, and 
granting permission to Mm to return out of his hiding in France. His 
cautioners were also thereby exonerated of the sum of £10,000 Scots, for 
which they stood enacted in the Books of Council. 2 

The autumn of the previous year was marked by the termination of a feud 
which had existed between Sir Walter Scott and James Murray of Falahill, and 
which, like similar feuds, had produced spoliation and slaughter. On 14th 
October 1527, a contract of agreement was made between Sir Walter Scott 
and James Murray of Falahill, whereby the former agreed to pay 500 merks 
Scots to the latter for slaughter and spoliation of the Hangandschaw ; and 
James Murray agreed to give up all apprising of the lands of Kirkurd, and 
to deliver the charter and sasine to Sir Walter Scott immediately after security 
was found for payment. Both parties also agreed to take part in each other's 
honest, good, and lawful quarrels. 3 Again, on 2d August 1528, James Murray 
of Falahill bound himself to deliver to Sir Walter Scott all charters and other 
writs made to him of the apprising of the lands of Kirkurd, and to resign 
into the king's hands, in favour of Sir Walter, the whole of the lands, within 
forty days, under a penalty of 500 merks Scots. 4 

The tight grasp which Angus held of the king, which defied Lennox and 
Buccleuch, was at length to be broken. When in his seventeenth year, King 
James escaped from Falkland Palace to Stirling Castle, on 23d May 1528, 
and thus liberated himself from the power of the Douglases. 

The first act of the king on reaching Stirling was to summon the Council, 
and to issue a proclamation forbidding any Lord or follower of the house of 

1 Buccleuch Charter-room. 3 Vol. ii. of this work. p. 148. 

2 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 150. * Ibid. p. 152. 


Douglas to approach within six miles of the Court, under pain of treason. The 
Council was attended by the Earls of Arran, 1 Argyll, Eglinton, and Murray, with 
the Lords Evandale, Sinclair, Maxwell, and Montgomerie. Angus himself, and 
George Douglas, his brother, on learning the flight of the king, hastened to 
Stirling with a few followers. They had not proceeded far on their way 
when they were met by a herald, who read to them the Act which prohibited 
their approach to Court under the pain of treason. They hesitated for a moment, 
but convinced of the danger of their position, that if they advanced they 
would be guilty of treason, and their lives and estates be at the mercy of the 
Crown, and impressed with such penalties bristling before them, they turned 
and rode back to Linlithgow. 

The power of Angus having been overthrown, a formidable opponent, 
not only to the full and effective pardon of Sir Walter Scott of Buccleuch, 
but to his ample vindication for his attempt at Melrose to rescue the king, 
was removed. On 6th July [1528], a declaration was made by King 
James, bearing that Sir Walter Scott of Buccleuch, in appearing at the head 
of his followers at Melrose, had only followed the instructions of the king 
and the Earls of Angus, Lennox, and other Lords, who had commanded him 
and others to muster their followers. 2 

Buccleuch was not only pardoned by the king, but he was made one of 
his chief advisers in opposition to the Earl of Angus, who was then in 
England. The opinion formed by the Government of King Henry the Eighth 
of Buccleuch, as a counsellor of King James, may be seen in a letter from 
Thomas Magnus and others, to Cardinal Wolsey, dated 14th November 
[1528]. These English Statesmen, in obedience to letters from King Henry 
and Cardinal Wolsey, interposed on behalf of the Earl of Angus, at their 
meeting at Berwick with the Commissioners of Scotland. The Scottish Commis- 
sioners informed them that no part of their commission had any reference 
whatever to that Earl ; but knowing some part of their master's counsel, they 

1 On 28th July 1528, a bond of manrent was executed between Buccleuch and Arran. 
(Original at Hamilton.) 2 VoL ii. of this work, p. 151. 


expressed their surprise that the king of England should so largely labour on 
behalf of, and so greatly favour, that person whom their master reputed as 
his rebel. Henry's ambassadors expressed their opinion that it was right for 
them thus to mediate on behalf of the Earl, considering that if the King of 
Scots in his youth should so vigorously persecute the nobles of his realm, for 
no higher cause than yet appeared, it would tend to his own destruction. 
" Considering," adds Magnus, " he is totally and at the least much more ruled 
and advised by thieves and murderers than by the noblemen of his realm. 
And at this point we remembered some of the said young king's counsellors, 
that is, to wit, Sir James Hamilton, who did slay the Earl of Lennox ; the 
Sheriff of Ayr, who also did slay the Earl of Cassillis ; the Lord of Buccleuch, 
who was cause of the death of Dan Carre, Warden of the East Marches of 
Scotland ; and the Lord Maxwell, chief maintainer of all offenders, murderers, 
thieves, and others, daily procuring and seeking ways and occasions to the 
breach and rupture of the peace between both the realms ; by means of which 
misruled persons, and of Harry Stewart, now married to the Queen of Scots, 
the Earl of Angus is attainted, as consequently, by all likelihood, shall be 
other noblemen of Scotland, for want of good counsellors about the young 
king, to his own no little danger, jeopardy, and peril." 1 

Lord Dacre, in a letter to Wolsey, dated 18th July 1528, similarly 
writes : — " The king is ruled and advised by the queen, Henry Stew[art], 
now her husband, the Lord Maxwell, and the Laird of Buccleuch, chief 
maintainers of all misguided men on the borders of Scotland, together 
with the Sheriff of Ayr, that slew the Earl of Cassilis, and now bedfellow to 
the said king, with such like other murderers and misguided persons, which 
are now best cherished and [most] in favour with the king and queen. I see 
no likelihood or appearance [of] any stay or good order to be had within 
Scotland for the causes aforesaid." 2 

The Parliament held at Edinburgh, 5th September 1528, as well as the 
king, absolved Buccleuch from the charge of treason imputed to him for his 
1 State Papers, Henry vni., vol. iv. pp. 523-526. 2 Ibid. p. 502. 


action at Melrose. In the Act it is declared that the accusation and crime 
imputed to him through his convocation and gathering made at Melrose 
that he came against his Grace was not true, and that he and his people 
came there at that time by his Majesty's special command, and at the com- 
mand of Archibald, Earl of Angus, John, Earl of Lennox, and other Lords 
who were with his Majesty at Jedburgh at the time, to do him service, and 
for no other cause, and that therefore he was innocent of the crimes imputed 
to him, and of the summons of treason raised against him, and all points 
contained therein. 1 This Act was ratified by King James, 24th May 1529. 2 

Justice was thus rendered to Buccleuch by his sovereign. The tables 
were turned upon Angus, and his fate became that which he had endeavoured 
to inflict on Buccleuch. Whilst the latter was absolved from treason in his 
proceedings against Angus, the fate of the Earl himself was very different. 
He was attainted upon seven articles, two of the chief being that he had 
confederated with England, and had kept the king two years against his will 
and the laws of Scotland. He was attainted not by the assent of the whole 
Parliament, as was the custom, but by one Archbishop, four Bishops, one 
Prior, four Earls, and one Baron, and other great Lords, 3 specially chosen by 
the king, and they gave verdict and forfeiture against him. 4 

Angus retreated to Coldingham, on the borders of his estates, in the 
Merse, and there he indited letters to Cardinal Wolsey and others having 
influence with the King of England, soliciting the king's protection to him. 
The letters of Angus assume his innocence, and he describes the proceedings 
against him as oppressive and cruel even to the death. He does not spare 
Buccleuch as one of his enemies. In a letter to Henry the Eighth, dated at 
Coldingham, on 10th September 1528, Angus writes that a "pretendit dome" 
has been given against him and his friends, though he never committed the 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. ] 58. and Dunblane, and the Prior of St. Andrews, 

2 Acta of the Parliaments of Scotland, vol. the Earls of Argyll, Arran, Eglinton, Moray, 
ii. p. 330. and Lord Maxwell. (State Papers, Henry 

3 These were the Archbishop of Glasgow, viii., vol. iv. p. 513.) 

the Bishops of Dunkeld, Aberdeen, Galloway, 4 State Papers, Henry VIII., vol. iv. p. 509. 


crimes imputed to him, as Henry will learn by a friend of his, whom he will 
send after one part of this business is done. He hopes the Earl of North- 
umberland will be instructed to receive him in England, and cause the 
borderers to ride with him when he commands them. 1 In a letter to the 
Earl of Northumberland, Lieutenant and Warden of the English Marches, 
dated Coldingham, 11th September 1528, he says that by the solicitation 
of his enemies, Argyll, Arran, and Maxwell, Sir James Hamilton, Sheriff of 
Ayr, the Lairds of Buccleuch and Kerr, the king has forfeited his lands, and 
is proceeding to pursue him and his friends to the death. In a letter to 
Wolsey, from Coldingham, of the same date, he thanks him for his letters to 
the king and himself, and for his " greit humanite, faith, and kyndnes." The 
King of Scots, abused by perverse counsel of " evil disposit personis," is led 
on " wrangusly " against him and his friends. As an " innocent and saikles 
man," he requests that England will give no credit to his adversaries, and 
that Wolsey will write to the Earl of Northumberland to give him refuge 
in England, as his enemies will besiege his houses, and pursue him to the 
death. 2 

Wolsey, in a letter to King Henry vni., in reference to the same events, 
dated at "Your Manor of Richmont, 27th September" [1528], thus writes : — 

" This day be arrived new letters, as well from the Earl of Angus as other, 
whereby it appeareth that the same Earl, by means of his adversaries, is attainted 
in a Parliament for that purpose assembled and convoked in Scotland, and not 
only his lands declared confiscated, but also one of his strongest places besieged 
[Tantallon], and he himself remaining in the mershe country for surite and pre- 
servation of his person, in such wise as the Lords Bothwell, Buccleuch, and other 
that were broken men, now resumed unto favour, the Borders lie open, to the no 
little danger of your subjects and people, if speedy remedy be not provided ; and 
the said Earl, who hath so well endeavoured himself to entertain amity between 
these two realms, like to be cast away, if by some good means the same be not 
foreseen in time." 3 

1 Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, 2 Ibid. p. 2046. 

Henry vni., vol. iv. part II. p. 2046. 3 State Papers, Henry Till., vol. i. p. 327. 


From the high favour with which Sir Walter Scott was regarded by King 
James, he had no inconsiderable influence with the king when interposing with 
him on behalf of others. In letters of pardon, dated 12th July 1528, granted 
by the king in favour of William Turnbull, frank-tenementar of Mynto, 
Eobert Scott, tutor of Howpaslot, Eobert Scott of Alanhauch, and William 
Scott of Hassindene, of certain crimes of treason and lesemajesty committed 
by them, of which they had been convicted, it is expressly stated that they 
were granted for the good, true, and thankful service done to his Majesty 
by Sir Walter Scott of Branxholm, knight, their chief, and for the same 
reason his Majesty remitted to them the escheat of their moveable goods, 
belonging to him by reason of the said forfeiture. 1 

In the time of King James the Fifth, the Borders were afflicted with many 
formidable "broken men" as they were called. Among these, William 
Cockburn of Henderland, in the county of Peebles, was conspicuous. Bepre- 
senting an ancient race, he forgot his obligations to society, and committed 
many crimes. The king sought the assistance of Buccleuch in apprehending 
Cockburn and bringing him to justice. In the warrant from the Icing to 
Buccleuch, he is authorised to apprehend and bring to justice William Cock- 
burn of Henderland, who, it is stated, dally reset and assisted thieves, traitors, 
and breakers of the realm, and was fugitive from the laws, so that he could 
not be apprehended by the officers of justice, that he might be punished 
according to his demerits, and also to seize upon all his moveable goods 
wherever they could be found, and to escheat them to his Majesty's use. 2 
A curious reward was paid in the same year by the Lord High Treasurer 
" to the Laird of Buckcleugh for the taking of Penman, two elne and half 
of cloth of silver, price elne, ix. H. Summa, xxij H. x s." 3 

The fate of Cockburn was soon after sealed. At the Parliament held in 
the Tolbooth of Edinburgh, 16th May 1529, at which the king was present, 
Cockburn, and Adam Scott of Tushilaw, in the forest of Ettrick, who was 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 155. 3 Pitcairn's Criminal Trials, vol. i. pt. I. 

2 Ibid. p. 160. p. 273. 

VOL. I. M 



named " King of Thieves;' were accused of theft, of receiving and maintain- 
ing thieves, of slaughters and other crimes ; and being convicted, they were 
beheaded, and their heads set over the Tolbooth of Edinburgh. 1 

Attempts had been made in the previous year to check the disorders of 
Liddesdale, and a treaty with that object was concluded at Berwick in 
December 1528, by commissioners from both countries. The treaty provides 
that if redress be not made for all attempts committed by the men of 
Liddesdale by the 11th day of January, or within forty days then next after 
following, " then and in that case it shall be lawful to the King's Grace of 
England to command his Wardens by letters of marke, with power to invade 
the inhabitants of Liddesdail to their slaughter, burning, hereschip, robbing, 
reining, despoilzeing, and destructioun, and so to continue the same at his 
Grace's pleasure till the attempts be fully satisfied." The Hermitage was 
exempted from siege, and no lands were to be appropriated. On the other 
hand, if the English Warden did not make redress for all " attempts " com- 
mitted by the men of Leven between the water of Leven, Kerrisop, and 
Liddesdale, then it should be lawful for the Scots King to issue letters of 
marke against that district. 2 

The amount of destruction caused by these bold marauders may be 
judged of by the confession — or rather the boast — of Sym Armstrong, at his 
interview with Sir Ralph Fen wick, the English Deputy Warden, as reported 
in a letter by the Earl of Northumberland to Brian Tuke, the Treasurer. The 
Earl writes, that " upon thetakyng of Quyntyn Avmestrange, and the ha vying 
of him in durance, Sym Armestrange, otherwise called Sym the Larde, cam 
to Sir Piaaf Fenwik, my deputie of Tyndale, and desired hym to bring hym, 
that he might speke with me or my counsaill for reformacioun of justice, for 
in the realme of Scotland he never loake to have justice kepit, saying that 
hymselfe and hys attendants have laid waste in said realme 60 myles, and 
laide downe 30 parish churches, and that there is no one in the realme of 
Scotland dar remedy the same. Ande whatsoever the commissioners of 
1 Holirished's Chronicles, vol. v. p. 508. 2 P^ymer's Fcedera, vol. xiv. p. 276. 


Scotland should conclude at this diet on their parte anent Liddesdaill, ther 
shuld not oon article be performed." " I caused Syni to mak such articles 
as he wolde be bounden unto, the which I send unto you." 1 

At the same Parliament, Buccleuch and other principal men on the Borders, 
including the Earl of Bothwell, Lords Maxwell and Home, Mark Kerr of Fer- 
nihirst,- and the Laird of Johnstone, were arrested and warded in the Castle 
of Edinburgh. 2 These border chieftains, it was said, had not used sufficient 
means to repress, if they had not encouraged, the disorders on the borders 
during the time that Angus had usurped the Government. The design of 
their arrest and imprisonment, therefore, was to prevent them from opposing 
the king, who was about to undertake an expedition into Ewisdale and 
Teviotdale, for punishing the border thieves, and restoring to tranquillity 
these distracted portions of his dominions. Two days after, most of the 
prisoners were sent to other prisons. But in the course of a few months all 
of them w T ere liberated, upon their giving pledges for their allegiance. 

King James had in the previous year written to his uncle, King Henry 
the Eighth, proposing to lead an expedition to settle the Borders, and he now 
marched at the head of 8000 men, and executed without mercy the chief 
leaders of the marauders. The celebrated Johnnie Armstrong of Gilnockie, 
who had compelled many on the English borders to pay him black mail or 
protection money, and a great number of his accomplices, were hanged upon 
the nearest trees. 3 By these vigorous proceedings, which inspired a salutary 
terror, quiet and security were produced for some time on both sides of the 

Archibald, Earl of Angus, having by the Parliament been declared a traitor, 
and his lands forfeited, they were nominally divided among those nobles and 
others to whom King James owed his success in emancipating himself from 

1 Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domes- wood gives April 1530 as the date : History, 
tic, Henry vm., vol. iv, part n. p. 2205, No. vol. i. p. 100. 

5055. 3 The Book of Carlaveroek, vol. i. pp. 181, 

182. Sir Walter Scott's Border Antiquities, 

2 Diurnal of Occurrents, p. 13. Calder- vol. ii. Introduction, p. lxxii. 


the power of Angus. Sir Walter Scott of Buccleuch, as we have seen, was 
energetic on behalf of the liberty of the king, and he shared in the division 
of Angus' estates, " for his good, true, and thankful service done to his 
sovereign." King James, by a signature, dated September 1529, ordained 
a charter to be made under the great seal, to Sir Walter Scott of Branxholm, 
knight, of all the lands in the lordship of Jedburgh Forest which belonged 
to Archibald, sometime Earl of Angus, and were apprised to his Majesty 
for castle wards due to him, to be held of the king by Sir Walter Scott and 
his heirs. 1 

Portions of the lands of the Earl of Angus were also given to Lord 
Bothwell, Lord Maxwell, the Sheriff of Ayr, and others. 

By the friendly offices of influential parties, efforts were made at different 
times to compose the deadly feud between the clans of the Scotts and the 
Kerrs, which was productive of great calamity to the border districts. These 
efforts were so far successful, that Sir Walter Scott, who was now a widower, 
by the death of his first wife, Elizabeth Carmichael, married Janet Ker, 
daughter of Andrew Ker of Fernihirst, relict of George Turnbull of Bedrule. 
Their contract of marriage is dated at Edinburgh, January 1530. Sir Walter 
became bound to marry Janet Ker, and to give her in liferent, and to the 
heirs- male of the marriage, heritably, whom failing, to return to Sir Walter 
and his heirs whomsoever, all his proper lands of the lordship of Jedburgh 
Forest, except the tenandries and advowsou of the kirk thereof, to be held of 
Sir Walter and his heirs in free blench. As the parties were related to each 
other within the forbidden degrees of affinity and consanguinity, Sir Walter 
and Andrew Ker became bound to obtain a dispensation from Borne at their 
joint expense. Andrew Ker bound himself to cause Janet, his daughter, to 
give and deliver to Sir Walter Scott, in name of tocher, at the completing of 
the marriage, all goods, corns, cattle, insight, and all other goods whatsoever 
then pertaining to her and in her possession, except the heirship of the heir 
of Bedrule, and should make the same free to Sir Walter Scott, with her 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 159. State Papers, Henry viii., vol. iv. p. 513. 


third of the lands and lordship of Bedrule, and of all other lands pertaining 
to her by reason of terce through the decease of George Turnbull, her spouse, 
so that Sir Walter Scott might dispone thereon at his pleasure. Andrew 
Ker and his heirs further became bound to relieve Sir Walter Scott of the 
children of Janet Ker of their portion of goods pertaining to them through 
the decease of their father, after the tenor of their father's testament. 
Andrew Ker and John Ker, his son, were to occupy the place of Bedrule, 
with the two parts of the lordship thereof, for the time of the ward, according 
to the tenor of the king's gift, without any molestation on the part of Sir 
Walter Scott and Janet Ker, or his heirs. Should Sir Walter die before the 
completing of the marriage in face of the holy kirk, Andrew Ker bound 
himself to cause her resign and give over the property of the lands and 
lordship of Jedburgh Forest to the heirs of Sir Walter, and to deliver to them 
all charters and other writs made and delivered to her thereupon. The 
penalty for failing to fulfil the terms of the contract was 1500 merks. 1 

Following out the pacific policy of reconciling the Scotts and the Kerrs, 
a bond was entered into on 15th March 1529-30, between the leaders of 
these two clans, to perform or cause to be performed a pilgrimage to the 
four principal places of devotion in Scotland — Scone, Dundee, Paisley, and 
Melrose — to pray for the souls of such of the other party as had fallen in the 
battle of Melrose. 2 This bond and the other measures produced a temporary 
cessation of hostilities. But unhappily the peace was not permanent between 
the two clans, for in the year 1552, as we shall afterwards see, Sir Walter 
Scott was murdered in the streets of Edinburgh by the Kerrs, in revenge for 
the death of the Laird of Cessford in the conflict at Melrose, twenty-seven 
years previously. 

Although the king had lately made an example of the more notorious of 
the Armstrongs, several of them still remained powerful for mischief. In the 
year 1531 Sir Walter Scott was made prisoner by Simon Armstrong, called 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 162. 

- Border Minstrelsy. Appendix to Introduction, vol. i. Appendix Xo. IV. p. clx. 


" the Laird," and Clement Crosar, two formidable borderers, who, in company 
with a party of English whom they had brought into the kingdom, had 
committed depredations, and burned Little Newtown. Complaints of these 
outrages were made to the English Government. It was reported to King 
Henry the Eighth and his Council, by an ambassador of King James the 
Fifth, that when " King James was settling with his Lords of Council at 
Peplis for reformation of the said matters, according to King Henry's desire, 
certain Englishmen of Lillesland and Tyndale, under the rule of the said 
Earl and Lord Dacres, to the number of 500 men, accompanied with his rebels 
of Lyddesdale, burnt in Teviotdale, and took the Lord of Buccleuch, being 
under sureties, and other his friends, which as the Earl [of Northumberland] 
wrote, he had commanded the contrary." To this Henry the Eighth instructed 
his herald-at-arms to say, that as to the riding of the king's subjects, in the 
company of the Scots, at the taking of the Lord of Buccleuch, the king's 
grace had not been advertised of any such thing. But if such could be 
proved, he was determined to give redress, and for that purpose had appointed 
commissioners, and if the Earl of Northumberland should be found culpable, 
order should be taken to reform the abuses of which they complained. 1 

The border leaders before mentioned, Simon Armstrong and Clement 
Crosar, having submitted to King James, he granted to them a remission, 
dated 26th January 1531-2, for the treasonable burning of Little Newtoun, 
and treasonable taking of Sir Walter Scot, in company with Englishmen, 
and inbringing of them within the realm, and for action and crime that 
might folloM r thereupon, and for all other actions and crimes whatsoever 
committed by them, or either of them, in time past, treason against our 
Sovereign Lord's person alone excepted. 2 

After a long interval the queen-dowager again comes upon the scene in 

connection with Buccleuch. In June 1532 the queen held a court on her 

jointure lands of the Forest of Ettrick, at the Castle of Newark. From his 

misunderstanding with the Queen, Sir Walter Scott was apprehensive that her 

1 State Papers, Heury vni., vol. iv. p. 588. 2 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 164. 


visit might cause him trouble, and he refused to give her the keys of Newark 
Castle. Lord Dacre, in a letter to King Henry the Eighth, from Nawarde, 
16th June [1532], writes : — " The Queen's Grace of Scotland came down to 
the Castle of Newark for the keeping of a forest court of Ettrick of her con- 
junct feoffament, and demanded of the Laird of Buccleuch the keys of the said 
castle, who would in no wise deliver the same unto her Grace, unto such time 
as he knew the king's pleasure. And so her Grace did send a complaint upon 
him to the king, and thereupon the king commanded him to deliver them 
unto her Grace. And so she hath delivered the said keys to the Lord of 
Meffen. There is in company with her Grace sixty horsemen and twenty- 
four runners of foot." 1 

In the beginning of the winter of the year 1532, the comparative peace 
and security which for some time had existed on the borders were again 
interrupted, and several pillaging expeditions were made both by the Scotch 
and the English into each other's territories. From certain satirical expressions 
which Buccleuch had used against King Henry the Eighth, he became still 
more obnoxious to the English ; and the Earl of Northumberland, in October 
1532, with 1500 men, ravaged and plundered his lands, and burnt Branxholm 
Castle, but failed in his principal object, which was to kill or take him 
prisoner. In retaliation Sir Walter Scott, with other border chieftains, made 
a formidable incursion into England, laid waste large portions of English 
territory by fire and sword, baffling and defeating the English, and returned 
home laden with booty. The particulars of the raid are narrated in a letter 
to the Earl of Northumberland : — 

"Upon Wednesday, the 20th November 1532, before day, the Scots, being 
assembled to the number of 3000 men, did come secret upon the close night, and 
cast off their foray to the number of 300 men, and took up a town called Rosse, 
and laid their bushement in the edge of Cheviot. After which so done, and the 
bushment and foray met, they did cast off two other forays about 1 2 of the clock of 
the day light upon the said Wednesday ; and the one foray did run down the water 

1 State Papers, Henry viti., vol. iv. p. 608. 


of Bremysch, and there took up four towns called Inggram, Reveyley, Brandon, 
and Fawdon ; and the other foray came to the water of Aylle, and there took up 
two towns called Ryle and Prendewyke, which towns stand at the utter part of 
your Highness Middle Marches towards Scotland. And either of their said forays 
was to the number of 200 men. Upon which hearing, the country arose with 
part of your Graces garrisons, who scrymaged with the same forays, and pursuing 
them unto Oswall Ford and Parish Stable, being four miles within the several 
ground of England, did not only perceive two great bushements laid, but also did 
see openly three standards displayed, as to say, the Laird of Cessford, the Laird of 
Buccleuch, and the Laird of Ferniherst. And perceiving the numbers to be so 
great that they were not able to counter with the same, for their appearance was 
no less unto them in number than 5000 men; nevertheless I know as well by 
Englishmen as Scotsmen, that their state was no less than 3000 men, and their 
captains were the Laird of Cessford, being Warden of the inheritance of the 
Middle March, the Laird of Buccleuch, John Carre, son and heir to Dand Ker of 
Farnyhirst, Mark Care, with all the hedesmen of the Forrest of Ettrick, with all 
Teviotdale on horseback and foot, 400 tried men from the west part of the Merse, 
and all the inhabitants of the Forest of Jedworth, and all the best tried men of 
Moorehowsland and Lawtherdale, under the Lord Buccleuch. And so your High- 
ness subjects seeing them no party, durst not enterprise with them. Whereupon 
they most contemptuously had into Scotland divers prisoners, with great number 
of horse, nolt, and sheep." 1 

Similar hostile incursions were made by the English borderers upon Scot- 
land. King James, in a letter to King Henry the Eighth, dated Edinburgh, 
20th November 1532, complains of the Earl of Northumberland and his 
borderers, who, with the Douglases, had committed notorious crimes by 
burning of church lands and corn, and murdering and burning of Scotchmen 
in the silence of night. He requests redress, and sends Thomas Scott fully 
instructed in the matter. 2 Clifford, in a letter to King Henry the Eighth, 
dated 9th February 1533, informs him of a foray which, with the Earl of 

1 State Papers, Henry vni., vol. iv. pp. 625, 626. 

2 Calendar of State Papers, vol. i. p. 30. 


Angus, he made on the Scottish horders on 7th of that month. There was 
an intermediate foray into Buccleuch's country. 1 

The great power wielded by Buccleuch and the other border chieftains, 
and the anxiety which their restless and resolute spirit caused to the English 
Government, appear from the letters of the English Ambassadors. Magnus 
and three others, in a letter to Henry the Eighth, dated at Newcastle, 26th 
July 1533, after expressing their opinion that the house of Cawe Mylnes, as 

" The Scots did take much to stomach the keeping of it from them," could not 
be kept from them if they intended to have it, since it was not able to keep 16 
persons, add :■ — " Also the Scots at all times be in such a readiness, as we be 
informed both by George Douglas and other having experience and intelligence in 
that behalf, that with the assembling and meeting of five gentlemen, that is to 
wit, the Lord Hoome and Alexander Hoome for the Marse, the Lord Buccleuch, 
Dan Carre of Farneherste, and Mark Carre for Teviotdale and those parties, five 
thousand men may suddenly be made, without proclamations, to be at Cawe 
Mylns within 24 hours, specially at this time of the year ; not to be resisted with 
the power of Northumberland, but with great aid of the Bishoprick of Duresme, 
and other places, which will not be levied and assembled to come to the Borders 
in four or five days." 2 

A remarkable illustration is afforded of the grievous state of insecurity to 
life and property on the borders at this time, from an enumeration of the 
crimes in which Bobert Scott of Allanehauch was accused of being art and 
part, and for which he was summoned to compear and answer before the 
Justiciary Court, to be held in the Town Hall of Jedburgh, on 19th April 
1535. It was found on trial by an assize that he was innocent of all the 
crimes charged against him in the indictment. But that the crimes specified 

1 The particulars of this foray are detailed 222), and published as of its true date 1533, 

in a letter from Lawson to Cromwell, 5th in the Notes to the first Canto of " The Lay of 

February (Chapter House Miscellaneous the Last Minstrel." (State Papers, Henry 

Letters, vol. xx. p. 153), and in an undated viii., vol. iv. p. 633.) 

letter from Northumberland to Henry veil., 2 State Papers, Henry viii., vol. iv. part 

catalogued as of 1536 (Caligula, B. vii. leaf iv. p. 656. 

VOL. I. n 


had been committed, though not by him, is undoubted. The crimes men- 
tioned in the indictment are the inbringing of thieves and traitors from 
Liddesdale to the town of Mydlem, also very extensive thefts of horses, cattle, 
sheep, etc., from numerous towns enumerated; also murders, robberies, 
mutilations, etc., burning of towns, the traitorous bringing in of Englishmen 
into Scotland, and many other crimes. 

Robert Scot of Allanehauch having appeared before Archibald, Earl of 
Argyll, Justice- General of Scotland, in the Justiciary Court held in the 
Town Hall of Jedburgh, utterly denied, in the face of the Court, the whole 
of the charges as calumnious ; and after trial by a condign assize, he was 
found entirely innocent thereof. Attestation to this effect was given by the 
Justice-General, under the seal of the Justiciary Office, 19th April 1535. 1 

Notwithstanding the acknowledged and partially rewarded assistance 
which King James had received from Buccleuch in tranquillising the Borders, 
the standing feuds between the rival clans were often productive of much 
disturbance. The king, in following out his policy as to the Borders, found 
it necessary to take steps against Buccleuch and other border chieftains. 

Buccleuch was warded in the Castle of Edinburgh, the Laird of Johnstone 
and Mark Ker in Dundee, with many other gentlemen of the Borders. From 
the time of the arrest and imprisonment of these leading men, who had con- 
tributed so much to the reiff and depredations that were there committed, 
great tranquillity was preserved for a long period ; " Wherethrough," says 
Bobert Lindsay of Pitscottie, "the king had great profit, for he had ten 
thousand sheep going in the Ettrick Forest in keeping by Andrew Bell, who 
made the king as good count of them as if they had gone in the bounds of 
Fife." 2 

Buccleuch was accused of having given assistance to Lord Dacre, Sir 
Cristell Dacre, Englishmen, and their accomplices, at the time of the burning 
of Cavers and Denholm. This assistance, if he rendered it at all, may have 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, pp. 165, 166. 

2 History of Scotland, p. 237. 


been given in prosecution of his feud with the Kerrs. It could hardly be 
from any sympathy with the English, to whom his uniform course of action 
was determined hostility. Being summoned to answer to this charge before 
the Justiciary Court at Jedburgh, he appeared on the 19th of April 1535, and 
placed himself at his Majesty's will for fear of his life. The king, on con- 
sidering all the circumstances of the case, judged that Sir Walter deserved no 
further punishment than to be put in ward for a certain time, at his Majesty's 
pleasure. By the orders of the king he was committed to prison. In the 
notes to the " Lay of the Last Minstrel," it is said that he was then imprisoned 
and forfeited for levying war against the Kerrs, but this is a mistake. The 
summons mentions only the assistance he rendered to Lord Dacre and the 
others on the occasion specified. 

King James, before his death, relented in regard to Sir Walter Scott, and 
calling to remembrance the true, good, and faithful service rendered to him 
by Sir Walter against his old enemies of England, and also his innocence, 
relaxed him from ward, and ordained that he should be restored to the 
same estate that he was in before the accusation, Sir Walter submitting 
to his will for the alleged crime. 1 Lord William Howard and William 
Barlo, Bishop of St. Davids, in a letter to King Henry the Eighth, from 
Edinburgh, 13th May [1536], write that the Laird of Buccleuch and Mark 
Ker, the Laird of Cessford, were out of prison, and restored again to the 
Borders. 2 

In the year 1540, Sir Walter having been accused of causing disturbances 
on the Borders instead of prosecuting their tranquillity, was again imprisoned. 
He obtained a letter in his favour from King James the Fifth, dated 1 2th 
June 1540, granting him, "now being in our ward in our will, for certane 
crimes," full power to pursue certain actions on his own behalf in the Courts 
of Law. 3 

The restoration ordered by King James was confirmed by the first 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 184. The Acts - State Papers, Henry vin., vol. v. pp. 47, 

of the Parliaments of Scotland, vol. ii. p. 414. 4S. 3 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 169. 


Parliament of Queen Mary, James, Earl of Arran, being Eegent, when Sir 
Walter Scott was restored to all his lands, offices, heritages, honours, and 
dignities. 1 This Act was ratified by the Parliament held 12th December 
1543, and by Queen Mary, with advice and consent of her tutor, James, 
Earl of Arran, protector and governor of the realm, 30th April 1545. 2 

To satisfy the Government, Sir Walter appeared before the Lords of Privy 
Council, and gave in certain offers relating to the preservation of good order 
on the borders, subscribed with his hand, which he bound himself to observe. 

He offered to cause Teviotdale, so far as belonging to him, in time coming, 
to be as peaceable and obedient to the king and his laws as any part of 
Lothian. He further offered that should Lord Maxwell not take the rule 
of Eskdale, Ewisdale, and Waukhopdale, he would engage to cause the same 
good rule to be kept by the inhabitants of these districts in time coming as 
he had offered to maintain in Teviotdale, or to ride as often as charged with 
Lord Maxwell or any other having the king's authority. He again offered, 
should such be his Majesty's pleasure, to let Lord Bothwell go to the 
Hermitage and to remain there for fifteen days, and if the clans and surname 
of Liddesdale should enter pledges to Bothwell for their peaceable behaviour, 
he trusted the king would be satisfied ; and if the surnames and elans should 
be obstinate and not enter their pledges, he would ride with Lord Bothwell 
at the king's command, or with any other whom the king should appoint, 
with all his followers, and this he would do during the Lord Bothwell's 
absence from the country, as often as he should command, until the borders 
were pacified. 

These offers were favourably considered by the king and the Lords of 
Council, and Malcolm Lord Fleming, Bobert Charteris of Amisfield, and 
Ninian Creichton of Bellibocht, having become surety for Sir Walter in the 
sum of 10,000 merks for his fulfilling these offers, the king consented that 
Buccleuch should be set at freedom from his ward on entering two of his 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 183. Acts of the - Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland. 

Parliaments of Scotland, vol. ii. p. 414. vol. ii. p. 433. 



friends, such as should be specified by his Majesty, to remain as pledges in 
ward. 1 

In August 1541 Sir Walter was sent to Elgin, in the diocese of Moray, 
by King James on an important mission, the nature of which is not specified 
in the appointment. He arrived there on the 1 6th of that month." 

King James the Fifth died 13th December 1542, in the thirty-first year 
of his age and the thirtieth of his reign, leaving an only daughter, Queen 
Mary, an infant of only six days, who succeeded to the Crown. 

On 28th November, a fortnight before the death of the king, he had 
written to Buccleuch requiring him to proceed to Edinburgh without delay 
on some special business, the nature of which is not known, but which, 
the letter states, could only be settled by a personal interview with the 
sovereign. 3 

After the death of the king, Archibald, Earl of Angus, and his brother, 
Sir George Douglas, were hopeful that they would again acquire in Scotland 
much of the power which they had lost, and, at the same time, the restora- 
tion of their lands which had been forfeited. Early in January 1542-3 they 
left Carlisle for Scotland, with the view of urging on the Scottish Council a 
favourite scheme formed by Henry the Eighth after the death of King James 
the Fifth, that of the marriage of the infant Queen Mary to his son Edward, 
Prince of Wales. The arrival of Angus and his brother in Scotland was, as 
may be easily understood, far from being agreeable to Buccleuch, on account 
of their former feud. It appears that Buccleuch had threatened to chase 
Angus out of Scotland again as he had done before. Sir John Dudley, 
Viscount Lisle, one of the Wardens of the English Marches, writing to the 
Duke of Suffolk, the king's lieutenant in the north, from Berwick, 2d February, 
says, " I had done writing this letter, one of my espielles came out of Scot- 
land. . . . This espiell showed me that the Laird of Buccleuch sent the Earl 
of Angus word that he was once at the chasing of him out of Scotland, and 
that he trusteth to be at the same again. Of this I have no other word, but 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 169. - Ibid. p. 178. 3 Buccleuch Charter-room. 



by this espiell only, but surely the appearance of a commotion or dissension 
is great." 1 

Buccleuch was of the party, headed by Cardinal Betoun, who were opposed 
to a matrimonial alliance for Queen Mary with England, preferring an alliance 
with the Dauphin of France. Sir William Parr, one of the Council of the 
north of England, in a letter to the Council with the king, from Newcastle- 
upon-Tyne, 24th May 1543, gives an account of the state of parties among the 
border chiefs, founded on information received from spies, which, in regard to 
Buccleuch, whom he represents as depending upon the Lord Governor and 
the Earl of Angus, is incorrect. He adds, " the Laird of Eernihirst is so crafty 
an old fox, and beareth himself so uprightly, that it is hard to know unto 
what party he bendeth ; howbeit, as it is said, he is so superstitious and 
Popish in his opinions, that it is thought he favoureth and leaneth much to 
the opinion of the clergy and religious." 2 

Sadler, the English ambassador at Edinburgh, who had better means of 
information, gives a more correct account of the state of parties among the 
border chiefs. In a letter to Parr, from Edinburgh, 20th July 1543, he thus 
writes : — 

" As I lately wrote unto the king's Majesty, the Cardinal here hath not only 
stirred almost this whole realm against the Governor, but also hath procured the 
Earl of Bothwell, the Lord Hume, the Lord of Buccleuch, the Laird of Cessford, 
and the Kers, which be wholly addict[ed] to him, to stir all the mischief and 
trouble they can on the borders, and to make raids and incursions into England, 
only of intent to break the peace, and to breed contention and breach between 
both realms, which I assure you the Governor (as the case standeth) cannot yet 
remedy. Wherefore, as I have at other times heretofore given your Lordship my 
poor advice always to be even with the Scots, and to pay them with sic like, in 
case they should make any attemptates or incursions within England, so now 
again I think it more than necessary that ye give them no such courage as to 
suffer their pride and arrogancy unrepressed ; but for one shrewd turn I would ye 
did them twain, so always as it be done to those which be the offenders and breakers 

1 State Papers, Henry VIII., vol. v. p. 251. 2 Ibid. p. 300. 


of the truce, for it were pity that the good men should suffer for the evil. . . . 
And for as much as the Earl Bothwell, the Lord Hume, Buccleuch, Cessford, and 
the Kerrs be the principal occasioners of this misrule on the borders, by the pro- 
curement of the Cardinal, it shall be good in my poor opinion that your Lordship 
be vigilant and waking upon them, to encounter and reacquite their malice, as the 
case shall require." 1 

Sadler, in a letter to Parr, from Edinburgh, 31st July, again writes : — " It 
is secretly murmured here that the Lord of Buccleuch, the Laird of Cessford, 
the Lord Hume, the Kerrs, and the Humes do intend a great raid and incourse 
into England, whereof I thought good to advertise your Lordship to the 
intent ye may the better provide to meet with them, as the case shall 
require." 2 

Overawed, it would appear, by the power of England, many of the Kerrs 
and other gentlemen of Teviotdale soon after joined the Scoto-English faction, 
headed by the Earl of Angus. The English Council, therefore, at the inter- 
cession of Angus, and of his brother, Sir George Douglas, concluded that the 
lords of these lands should not be invaded, though some of them had ridden 
in England as enemies, and had defended the enemies of England when 
the English rode against them. But Buccleuch, who showed no signs of 
submitting, was so obnoxious that a raid was made by the English on his 
lands, and the Laird of Fernihirst was excepted from the English Council's 
resolution to exercise forbearance to others of the border chiefs. The Duke 
of Suffolk, Lord President of the English Council, in a letter to the Earl of 
Angus, from Darnton, 13th October [1543], after stating that those for whom 
he wrote should be forborne, " if they will take no part against us, until I 
hear from your Lordship," adds, " except Fernihirst's lands and tenants, who 
now late led his son, with four hundred men in wait of our men returning from 
an exploit done upon the Lord of Buccleuch's lands, and hath hurt and slain 
clivers of our men, like as some of his be hurt and slain." 3 

1 State Papers, Henry VIII., vol. v. pp. 2 State Papers, Henry VIII., vol. v. p. 329. 

321, 322. 3 Ibid. pp. 347, 34S. 


Vigorously to meet Buccleuch, Sadler and others, in a letter to 
Henry VIII., 8th March 1543-4, recommend that his Majesty "should 
levy a garrison of 2000 or 3000 on the borders, to annoy the Lairds of 
Johnston and Buccleuch, and such others as be not your Majesty's friends 
there." 1 

Beference has already been made to the two factions which now existed 
in Scotland, the English and the French. The latter having gained the 
ascendency, the Government of Scotland repudiated the treaty which they 
had entered into with Henry vill. for the marriage of Mary Queen of Scots 
with his son, Edward, Frince of Wales. To avenge the violation of this 
treaty, Henry inflicted upon the Scottish borders one of the most extensive 
and dreadful raids of devastation and bloodshed which they had ever 
suffered. By this invasion, conducted by Sir Balph Eure and Sir Brian 
Latoun, and continued from the beginning of July 1544 to nearly the end of 
the year, Sir Walter Scott, like many others, was a great sufferer. Lord 
Wharton, in a letter dated 27th August, writes: — "The West and Middle 
Marches, with certain Scotsmen, invaded West Teviotdale upon the Lord of 
Buccleuch's lands, and burned divers towns and stedes in their way, and 
went and burned the barmkeyn at the Lord of Buccleuch's tower at Branx- 
ham, and have brought away 600 oxen and kyen, 600 sheep, certain horse 
and nags, 200 gayt, and as much spoil of insight gear as they could carry 
away, and have taken 30 prisoners, and slain eight Scots." 2 

Lord Eure, in a letter of the same date, similarly writes: — "Sir Bryan 
Layton, Henry Evre, Bobert Collingwood, etc., ranged the woods of Woddon, 
where they got much baggage, nags, sheep, and nolt, and hath slain about 
the said woods thirty Scots ; and from thence they went to a tower of the 
Lord of Buccleuch, called Mosshouse, and won the barmkyn, and gat many 
nags and nolt, and smoked very sore the tower, and took thirty prisoners, and 
so have they brought away horses and nags, 180 or 200 nolt, 400 sheep, 

1 State Papers, Henry vm., vol. v. p. 360. Walter Scott's Border Antiquities, vol. ii. 

2 Hayne's State Papers, quoted in Sir Appendix No. V., p. xlvii. 


much insight gear, and burned the town of Woodon, and many shells and 
houses in the said wood, and other stedes and mills in their way. Scots slain, 
thirty." 1 

Shortly after this Sir Walter Scott is found corresponding with the 
Cardinal, from whom he receives hope of retaliation on the expected arrival of 
troops from France. Lord Wharton, writing to the Earl of Hertford, reports 
that one of his spies had heard read a letter from the Cardinal to that effect. 2 

Efforts were again made to secure Buccleuch to the English interest, and 
a meeting was arranged by Wharton with that object shortly before the 
battle of Ancrum. They met with threescore horse on either side. The 
English announced their master's success in his war with France — he had 
taken Boulogne. Buccleuch " mused a little but was not discomposed." 
Being reminded that the meeting had been arranged at his own request, and 
asked to state what he wished with them, " he with a merry countenance 
answered that he would buy horse of them and renew old acquaintance. 
They said they had no horses to sell to any Scotishman, and for old acquaint- 
ance they thought he had some other matter, and advised him to shew the 
same. Who answered, Jesu ! what ails you thus to run upon us?" After 
further conversation, as Lord Wharton and others in a letter to the English 
Privy Councd, dated Gth September 1544, say, Buccleuch 

" Earnestly therewith said that if my Lord Prince did marry their queen, he 
would as truly and dutifully serve the King's Highness and my Lord Prince as 
any Scotishman did any King of Scotland, and that he would be glad to have 
the favour of England, with his honour ; but that he would not be constrained 
thereto if all Tividale were burnt to the bottom of hell ;" and instanced them to 
give their counsel therein. They answered, that they were sent to hear all things 
that he would say, having no commission to join with him in agreement of any 
thing ; and advised him to go round to work, and for counsel said, " Ye know 
your own state, both of your commodity and discommodity;" and advised him to 
serve the King's Highness, their Sovereign Lord and master. Whereunto he 

1 Hayne's State Papers, quoted in Sir Appendix No. V., p. xlvii. 
Walter Scott's Border Antiquities, vol. ii. 2 State Papers, Henry vm., vol. v. p. 459. 

VOL. I. 



said, if he should promise his service, it should be better performed and kept than 
the lords and others of this realm had performed and kept theirs ; and thereupon 
entered in talk of the Earl of Angus and other lords prisoners, that advisedly, not 
compelled, had made promise to His Highness which they performed not ; and if 
lie made promise he would keep the same, with many earnest words to advance 
his truth ; and displeasantly spoke against the Earl of Angus and George Douglas. 
In these talks, they go on, " Mr. Aglionby and John Thomson asked him, What he 
would say unto them, to be the cause of their meeting 1 He said, Will ye give 
no counsel 1 Now, I see, I must needs sing the shameful carol, and say that I 
would have the favour of England (and would do for the same whatsoever I 
might, with mine honour), and avoid the utter destruction of my house. And if 
I serve the King's Highness of England, there are many friends bound with me, 
and I with them, every one to take other's part ; as the Lord Home, Mark Carr of 
Littleden, George Carr, and all the Carrs, except David [Dand] Carr of Fairnyhirst. 
Albeit, he said, he was not at that present sure of David [Dand] Carr, the laird 
of Cessford, but, he said, the same day, Mark Carr did meet with the laird of 
Cessford, and doubted not but such means would be used between them as that 
lie would enter with them into their said bond. He reckoneth also the laird of 
Johnston of that band ; and said, they aforesaid, with four or five score gentle- 
men, were sworn and bound, with all their friends, to join together in one friend- 
ship, and all they would go one way ; and desired them (Aglionby and Thomson) 
that he might have assurance, for one month or twenty days, of me (Wharton), 
and all those English and Scotishmen under my rule and office ; in which time he 
would know all his friends' minds ; and, also, he would in that time speak with 
the Governor, and declare to him what great hurt he had done to him and his 
friends by England, without defence or relief made unto him by the Governor, or 
by the authority of Scotland ; and shewed himself by his words, that for the more 
benefit and rest of him and his friends, he would shew the Governor that he would 
provide otherways for the same ; and, within the time of that assurance, he would, 
if it pleased me, meet myself or them again, with his resolute and full mind, what 
he and his friends would do in every thing." They answered that they had no 
commission to grant him any assurance one hour longer than that assurance 
granted for that their meeting, nor to grant any his demands, whatsoever the same 
were, but to hear what he would say. And they said unto him therewith : " Sir, 
look about ye as you stand. West from you is yonder Eskdale, Ewsdale, and 

Wauchopdale ; and of far side the ridge from you east, Lidsdale. These dales did 
sometime hold of Scotland ; and now they are all bound and sworn, with their 
hostages all lying at Carlisle, to serve the King's Highness our master, at all com- 
mandments of His Majesty's officers ; and my lord warden of the west marches 
hath granted you for this meeting, -assurance for them. Ye know the dwellers of 
these debateable lands are all at commandment to serve His Highness ; and better 
you were to come and serve His Majesty, and thereby to live with your friends 
at rest, than to live as ye do ; which, in brief time, will be to the no little damage 
and destruction of you and your friends. And serving His Majesty, ye may be 
sure there is none in authority in Scotland, that will or dare annoy you in 
Tividale." Afterwards, Buccleugh insisted on his demand of assurance, to which 
they promised to send him an answer about the Sunday and Monday after. Then 
Wharton goes on thus : " The laird of Buccleugh had sundry of his name and 
friends that earnestly with quick words advised him to do what he might, to 
obtain the favour of England ; for his doing against the same, had been to many 
of their undoings. To advertise your lordships of such news as they received of 
the laird of Buccleugh's words unto them : he said that the Governor would keep 
and maintain the authority, during the nonage of their young Queen, and that the 
other lords were false men, and would not be of piower in that realm to undo the 
same ; and most highly inveighed them and their proceedings by his words. They 
said unto him, that it was told them by Scotishmen, that the Governor was gone 
into France. He said, it was certainly untrue, and that he neither was nor would 
go forth of that realm, for anything that they could do. He spoke many words, 
in his conference, of the untruth of the Earl of Angus, George Douglas, and, espe- 
cially of the Lord Maxwell, and David [Dand] Carr of Fernyhirst, who, he said, 
were the falsest that ever was; and said, Now ye have them both in England, 
keep them well, for ye have a great treasure of them. He said therewith, that 
David [Dand] Carr of Fernyhirst had circumvened Sir Balf Evars ; and, he 
doubted not, if I would trust him, he would also circumvene me." 1 

Whatever hope Lord Wharton may have had of numbering Buccleuch 
among the assured Scots, he was soon undeceived. Not long after this 
interview the timely reinforcements which Sir Walter Scott brought to the 

1 Miscellany of tlie Maitland Club, vol. iv. part I. pp. 105-10S, giving the above abstract of 
the letter. 


assistance of Arran, enabled him to attack the English forces under Sir 
Brian Latoun and Sir Ralph Eure, who had come to take possession of the 
lauds in the Merse and Teviotdale granted to them by the English monarch. 

The English army were encamped on a moor near the village of Ancrum, 
and the Scots were posted on a neighbouring eminence. Acting on the 
advice of Buccleuch, Arran withdrew his army from the hill to a level plain 
behind it, and the English mistaking this movement for retreat, pushed on 
with all speed to the attack. On gaining the brow of the hill they found the 
Scots in a compact mass. Their rapid approach had thrown the English 
army into disorder, and not having time to re-form, they charged without 
delay, but were repulsed by the Scottish spearmen. Falling back on the 
main body, the whole army were thrown into confusion, which was increased 
by the secession of the six hundred " assured Scots," principally Armstrongs, 
who on the first symptom of flight threw away their red crosses and joined 
their countrymen in the pursuit. The loss of the English amounted to eight 
hundred slain and one thousand prisoners. Among the dead were found the 
bodies of the two leaders, Sir Ealph Eure and Sir Brian Latoun. 

In the autumn of the same year, Buccleuch commanded one of the wings 
of an army which entered England under Arran and Angus, but which 
returned a few days afterwards, " throw the dissait of George Douglas and 
the wangaird, quha wald not pas agane throw his tyisting " (enticing). 1 

Sir Walter and the lawful heirs-male of his body by Janet Betoun, his 
spouse, were appointed by letters by Queen Mary, dated 9th November 
1543, with consent of the Regent Arran, captains and keepers of her Majesty's 
Castle of Newark, in the lordship of Ettrick Forest, for nineteen years ; and 
for the exercise of this office her Majesty granted to them her lands of 
Cartarhauch, Quhithilwra, Auldwerk, and Huntlie, in the lordship of Ettrick, 
with all mails, farms, profits, and duties thereof during the foresaid period. 2 

The precise relations, whether amicable or the contrary, between the two 
rival families of Buccleuch and Cessford, do not always appear. The feud 
1 Diurnal of Occurrents, p. 40. 2 Vol. ii. of this work, p. ISO. 


between them, though allayed, was for a long time not wholly healed, and 
their relations seem to have been friendly or hostile, as caprice or supposed 
interest might dictate. 

In 1544, active measures were taken by the Government against Walter 
Kerr of Cessford, Warden of the Middle Marches. He was charged with 
assisting the Earl of Angus and his brother, George Douglas, then under 
summons for treason, also with intercom miming with the English, and using 
the office of Warden for his own private ends. Kerr and his abettors were 
therefore by proclamation discharged, with all others usurpers, from exercising 
the office of Wardenry. 1 

Sir Walter Scott " of Branxholm" was a member of the Parliament which 
met at Stirling, 26th June 1545. 2 He was also a member, under the title of 
" Dominus BuclewV of the Parliament which met at Edinburgh, 1 4th August 
1546. 3 

Sir Walter, at the head of a numerous body of men, fought at the battle of 
Pinkie, near Musselburgh, 10th September 1547, between the English, headed 
by the Duke of Somerset, and the Scots, in which the latter sustained a 
disastrous defeat. The object of Somerset was to compel the Scots, by force 
of arms, to fulfil the treaty into which they had entered with England, rela- 
tive to the marriage of Queen Mary and Edward, Prince of Wales, but which, 
by the influence of the French faction, they had repudiated. Somerset was 
successful in defeating the Scots in the field of battle, but he failed in his 
object of enforcing the English marriage-treaty, for the Scots, betaking them- 
selves for assistance to Erance, the English, after a war of nine years, 
abandoned the hopeless enterprise of forcing upon the Scots a matrimonial 

Immediately after the battle at Pinkie, Sir Walter Scott, as the chief of the 
Scotts, and Sir Walter Kerr of Cessford, as the chief of the Kerrs, with their 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 182. 3 Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, 

2 Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, vol. ii. p. 471. 
vol. ii. p. 595. 


friends, met at the west of Cowsland, to consider what was now to be done 
on behalf of their Queen and country. At this meeting both parties entered 
into a bond and oath to be loyal to the Queen a,nd her authority, and to exert 
themselves against their old enemies of England, and to uphold the Common- 
wealth of Scotland to the end of their lives. For the further performance of 
these obligations, they appointed a meeting to be held at Ancruniwoodhead, 
alias the Palisfuird, upon the 12th of the same month. At that meeting 
Buccleuch and Cessford, with all the gentlemen of Teviotdale, were sworn to 
observe the bond. Upon the 20th of the month (the English then going- 
home) another meeting was held at Blakersiltoun, at which it was resolved 
never to assist, but always to remain opposed to the English. 

The Kens, however, did not remain true to these solemn engagements. 
On the morning after the meeting at Blakersiltoun, Walter Kerr of Cessford, 
John Kerr of Fernyhirst, Mark Kerr of Littledean, and their friends, met with 
Sir Balph Bolmeir, Sir Oswald Wilstrop, with other knights and gentlemen, 
sent from the Protector of England, without the knowledge of Buccleuch, and 
remained in the English camp, then at Auld Boxburgh, until the departure of 
the English from Scotland, disregarding the obligations of the Bond of Union 
with the Scotts against the English. The Kerrs daily thereafter gathered fol- 
lowers in order to go to Lord Gray, who was then left upon the borders of 
England, and rode with him, visiting with fire and sword the Queen's lieges. 1 

After this the lands of Sir Walter Scott, being at the mercy of the 
English, who might pursue him, his tenants, and friends with fire and sword, 
to their total destruction, he offered to submit to the English monarch, who 
was now Edward Sixth. Lord Grey, in a letter to the Duke of Somerset, 
dated Norham Castle, 21st November 1547, sends letters from Buccleuch, 
offering to serve his Majesty. 2 Buccleuch had authority from the Earl of 
Arran, Governor of Scotland, for thus acting. A letter, dated 26th Septem- 
ber 1547, under the signet of Queen Mary, and subscribed by the Earl of 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 185. 

- Calendar of State Papers, Scotland, Edward VI., vol. i. p. 71. 


Arran, Governor of Scotland, ratifies a former permission, and empowers 
him to " intercommune with the Protector and Council of England, and sic 
utheris Inglismen as he pleissis, for saiftie of him, his kin, friendis, and ser- 
vandis, fra heirschip and distraction of the Inglismen in tyme cuniing, and 
for the commoun wele of our realme, als aft as he sail think expedient." A 
clause in the letter appears to empower him even to profess himself an 
"assured Scot," in order to deceive the English. It ordains that "quhen 
evir he beis requirit be us or oure said Governour, sail incontinent thaireftir 
renunce and ourgif all bandis, contractis, and wrytingis maid be him to the 
Inglismen." 1 His submission was accepted, but the English distrusted his 
sincerity. Lord Grey, in a letter to the Duke of Somerset, dated Warkworth, 
5th January 1548, says that he will show himself a vigilant and cruel enemy 
to Sir George Douglas and Buccleuch if they break their truth. 2 

Buccleuch, as the English anticipated, did not prove true to his engage- 
ment to tbem, and this immediately brought down upon him their vengeance. 
Lord Grey, in a letter to the Duke of Somerset, dated Alnwick, 25th January 
1548, informs him that he intends to besiege Buccleuch in his house at 
Newark. 3 On the 27th of the same month, he and the other Wardens state 
that nothing is to be done at Branxholm except the winning of the Castle, and 
that is impracticable without cannon. They considered that Newark might 
be taken without any great difficulty. 4 Lord Grey afterwards besieged Newark, 
burned the town, and got a booty of 3000 sheep and 400 head of cattle. 5 
Cessford, Caldenknowis, and Mark Kerr were present with Sir Bobert Bowes at 
the burning of Newark , 6 The Lady of Buccleuch's brother was taken prisoner, 
possibly during this foray, as Thomas Fisher, in a letter to the Duke of 
Somerset, shortly after this occurrence, mentions a proposal for his exchange. 7 

Meanwhile Buccleuch, though one might suppose that his hands were 

1 Buccleuch Charter-room. 5 Calendar of State Papers, Scotland, 

2 Calendar of State Papers, Scotland, Edward VI., vol. i. p. 75. 

Edward VI., vol. i. p. 74. 

, r , . , _,. G Vol. ii. of this work, p. 186. 

J Ibid. p. /(>. ' 1 

4 Ibid. p. 76. ' Calendar of State Papers, vol. i. p. 92. 



full, had other quarrels to settle. In February 1547-8, he and John, Lord 
Borthwick, with the Duke of Chatelherault, led a number of their followers 
against Alexander Crichton of Brunstpn, near Musselburgh, who, however, 
sought safety in flight. 1 

We next meet with Buccleuch at the Parliament held in the Abbey of 
Haddington, on 7th July 1548, at which the project was discussed for setting 
aside the treaty with England, and negotiating a marriage between Queen 
Mary and the Dauphin of France. " The Lord of Balcleucht," says Knox, 
" a bloody man, 2 with many Goddes woundes, swore, they that would not 
consent should doe worse." 3 

In the beginning of October 1548, Walter Kerr of Cessford, John Kerr of 
Fernihirst, and Mark Kerr, were taken by the Earl of Arran, Lord Governor, 
who had been in Jedburgh, and committed prisoners to the Castle of Edin- 
burgh. Whether Buccleuch had any hand in their capture, or was blamed 
by them as concerned in it, does not appear, though it would seem from 
what followed that he had. We cannot otherwise account for the immediate 
bursting forth of the old enmity of the Kerrs against Buccleuch. 

No sooner had the Kerrs been made prisoners than Andrew Kerr, brother 
of Cessford, at their earnest solicitation, rode to Lord Grey to Boxburgh, and 
persuaded him to make an incursion with a body of his English forces upon 
the lands of Branxholm. A furious incursion was immediately made. On 
Friday, the 5th of October 1550, Lord Grey, accompanied with Andrew Kerr 
and his brothers, and the whole clans and surnames of East Teviotdale, came 
to the water of Aill, and there burnt, hareyt (pillaged), and destroyed the 
corn, goods, and houses of the inhabitants thereof pertaining to Sir Walter 
Scott and his friends. 

1 Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, 
vol. ii. p. 522. 

a In the Diurnal of Occurrents (p. 51) the 
author, in speaking of the slaughter of Sir 
Walter Scott of Branxholm, calls him "ane 
valzeand guid Knight." 

3 Knox's History of the Church of Scot- 
land, p. 175. A copy — the most perfect 
known to exist — of the original edition of 
1584, which is now extremely rare, is in the 
Library at Dalkeith House. 


On Monday thereafter, 8th October, Lord Grey, accompanied by the 
foresaid Scotsmen, burnt, hereit, and destroyed the town of Hawick, and all 
the towns, manses, and steadings upon the waters of Teviot, Borthwick, 
and Slitrik, pertaining to Sir Walter Scott. 

On the 19th of the same month, Lord Grey burnt, hereit, and destroyed 
all rooms and steadings belonging to Sir Walter Scott, his kin, friends, and 
servants, upon the waters of Yarrow and Ettrick, lying within the forest, and 
burnt the mother of Sir Walter within the tower of Catslak, " and the haill 
plenising of the same." He likewise burnt the Castle of Newark, and slew 
four of the servants and a woman within the Castle. He also burnt and 
hereit the town of Selkirk, of which Sir Walter was Provost. 1 

Sir Walter Scott raised a summons against Sir Walter Kerr of Cessford, 
John Kerr of Fernihirst, and others, charging them to compear before the 
Lords of Council and answer for this raid on his lands. The parties sum- 
moned not having made their appearance at the meeting of Council at 
Edinburgh, 3d December 1549, the Council continued the summons to the 
24th of February following. 2 

Sir Walter Scott obtained a commission from Queen Mary, with consent 
of Arran, the Eegent, dated 29th April 1550, appointing him Warden of the 
Middle Borders between Minto Craig and Craykcross, in which bounds his 
friends, servants, and tenants dwelt. The commission was to remain in force 
for nineteen years, and further during the Queen's pleasure. 3 

At the same time he received a commission from the Queen and the 
Eegent to transact certain affairs in Liddesdale, and obtained from them 
letters of protection, dated 29th April 1550, to the persons who should 
accompany Sir Walter on that business, to continue for eight days after the 
date of the letters. 4 

In consequence of the disorders which existed on the Borders, the Eegent 
this year resolved to proceed on a border expedition, to restore and maintain 
tranquillity ; and now, on the restoration of peace, to put in possession of their 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 185. 2 Ibid. p. 193. 3 Ibid. p. 196. 4 Ibid. p. 195. 

VOL. I. p 



lands, freedoms, and privileges, the inhabitants of those parts who, during the 
late war, had been " brynt, hereit," and put to extreme poverty by their old 
enemies of England, and others. 

To promote the success of this expedition, Sir Walter Scott, Sir William 
Scott, his son, and nine others, all of the name of Scott except one, granted 
a bond to the Queen and the Lord Governor, dated 21st May 1550, whereby, 
to show their loyalty to the Queen and the Lord Governor, and to assist his 
Grace to the utmost of their power, they engaged to keep, and cause to be 
kept, good rule and tranquillity within their bounds. They undertook to 
prosecute and punish all within their bounds who should break the law, and 
also to seize and bring to justice any criminals seeking refuge within the lands 
over which they had jurisdiction. 1 

Sir Walter Scott gave a bond of manrent to John Hamilton, Archbishop 
of St. Andrews, primate and legate nate of all Scotland, and Abbot of 
Paisley, dated 31st December 1550. The Archbishop, in return, by a bond 
of the same date, bound himself, by the word and faith of a prelate, during 
the term of his natural life, to maintain and defend Sir Walter to the utmost 
of his power in all his causes, actions, and quarrels, lawful and honest ; 
and with his (the Archbishop's) kin, friends, servants, vassals, partakers, and 
adherents to take his honest part therein against all men, his allegiance to 
the Queen and the Lord Governor, and the authority of the realm only 
excepted. 2 

In the spring of the following year, Sir Walter was appointed by the 
Government of Queen Mary Governor-General and Justiciar within the 
bounds of the lands and lordship of Liddesdale, and all other bounds in 
Teviotdale, where any of the old inhabitants and tribes, commonly called 
the clans of Liddesdale, dwelt. The commission, which is dated 3d April 
1551, was granted for the repression of thefts, robberies, depredations, 
homicides, and fire-raisings, and similar cruel, dreadful, and iniquitous 
crimes committed by the inhabitants of the lordship of Liddesdale upon her 
1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 197. 2 Ibid. p. 201. 


Majesty's faithful subjects in times past, and that her subjects might be able 
to live in tranquillity without damage in time to come. 

The powers with which Sir Walter was invested by this commission 
were of the most ample description. It authorised him and his deputies to 
hold her Majesty's Justiciary Court or Courts, and all other courts necessary, 
within the forementioned bounds, whether at Branxholm or Hawick, as they 
should deem it expedient, to fine absentees, to punish transgressors according 
to the laws of the realm, to exact fines and escheats of their courts, and to 
apply them to his own private use, to escheat and bring in, as her Majesty's 
escheat, the goods of such persons, to apprehend the persons themselves, to 
burn their dwellings, and to prosecute their families with fire and sword to 
their extreme destruction, and to make gatherings of her Majesty's lieges when 
and as often as Sir Walter and his deputies should consider to be expedient ; 
and should any person or persons so prosecuted, or their assistants, partakers, 
or defenders in their resistance be killed, mutilated, or hurt, neither the 
Governor and Justiciary in that part, nor his deputies, nor any persons in 
their company, were to incur guilt, loss, or prejudice in their persons, lands, 
or goods, nor on that account to be accused criminally or civilly in any way 
in time to come. 1 

Sir Walter Scott also received a commission under the Privy Seal, dated 
29th June 1551, appointing him Warden and Justiciar within the bounds of 
the Middle Marches of Scotland, with all the fees thereof, investing him with 
full power to hold Courts of Wardenry and Justiciary within these bounds, 
and to cause all inhabitants thereof, when he should consider it expedient 
for the defence of the kingdom, to convene, ride, and advance " against our 
old enemies of England," and in the pursuit, capture, and punishment of the 
thieves, rebels, and evil doers by whom her Majesty's poor subjects of the 
Middle Marches were grievously molested and plundered; to make Statutes, 
Acts, and ordinances thereupon ; to punish transgressors, thieves, and other 
delinquents within these bounds according to the laws, and for this effect to 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 201. 


cause assizes to be summoned and sworn, consisting of a sufficient number 
of persons not suspected, under the penalty of £20 for each person not 
compearing ; to make clerks, sergeants, judges, and all other officers and 
members necessary for Warden and Justiciary Courts and deputies under 
him, etc. 1 

Sir Walter Scott, Like others invested with the offices of Warden and 
Justiciary of the Marches, soon experienced the difficulties of his position ; 
and he complained to the Government that certain inhabitants within the 
bounds of the Middle Marches would not answer and obey him as Warden 
and Justiciar unless they were compelled. 

To enable him, therefore, vigorously to execute the office of Warden and 
Justiciar, letters under the signet, dated 30th June 1551, were directed to 
the Queen's sheriffs in that part, commanding them in her name, and by her 
authority, to charge all her lieges dwelling within the foresaid bounds, by 
open proclamation, at the Market Cross of Jedburgh, and all other places 
needful, to answer and obey Sir Walter Scott and his deputies and officers in 
the execution of the offices of Wardenry and Justiciary within the bounds 
specified, as' they would answer to her thereupon. 2 

In the discharge of the duties of his office as Warden of the Middle 
Marches of Scotland, Sir Walter Scott acted with the energy peculiar to his 
character. To render the efforts of himself and the other Wardens the more 
effective in promoting order and tranquillity on the Borders, he made a 
representation to the Privy Council, before whom he personally appeared, 
23d March 1551-2, and desired them specially to come to a full determina- 
tion as to what should be done with those who committed perjury on their 
appearance before the courts, as to the increased amount of the price to be 
paid for restitution and redress of what might be stolen ; as to the punishment 
of malefactors according to the laws, and as to the security of prisoners and 
their ransom. 

On all these points the Council came to such a conclusion as was well 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 204. 2 Ibid. p. 205. 


adapted to promote order and peace within the Borders. It was declared 
that if any person who was charged with breaking the truce and denied the 
same on his oath was afterwards found to be guilty, he should be given up 
to the Warden of England. His punishment, which was left to the discretion 
of the Warden, was to be branding on the cheek or death. These orders 
were conditional on the English Wardens adopting similar means of punish- 
ing any Englishman guilty of a like offence. More stringent rules were 
also laid down for the punishment of any who plundered the neighbouring 
country during truce. The consideration of the question regarding Scotsmen 
who claimed the re-entry of prisoners taken since the beginning of the last 
war, and their ransom for their forfeited lands, was deferred till Whitsunday 
following. 1 

The life of Sir Walter Scott had been a very active one, and though he 
appears to have had a strong constitution, yet the harassments of border 
strife, and the tear and wear of almost constant conflicts with the English, 
upon whom he made incursions, or whose inroads into Scotland he had to 
resist, now impaired his vigour even more than advancing years. It is not 
therefore surprising that when little more than sixty years of age he prayed 
the Eegent, Arran, in consideration of his arduous duties as Warden of the 
Middle Marches, and of the infirmities of age, being then more than sixty 
years of age, by which he was not able, as he had hitherto been, to pass upon 
inquests and assizes, that he might be exempted from attendance at Justice- 
airs, Justice-courts, Sheriff- courts, Stewart- courts, inquests, assizes, etc. 

In compliance with this petition he obtained from Queen Mary, with 
advice and consent of James, Duke of Chatelherault, as Governor of the 
realm, a letter, dated 20th May 1552, granting him the exemption 
desired. 2 

The rest which he had now obtained from a part of his active and 
arduous official duties was not to be long enjoyed, and his eventful and 
turbulent life was suddenly cut short within a few months of the date of the 
1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 206. - Ibid. p. 208. 


exemption. On the night of the 4th October 1552, he was attacked in the 
High Street of Edinburgh by a party of the Kerrs and their friends, and there 
murdered. He does not appear to have had the opportunity of defence given 
to him. John Hume of Coldenknowes is charged in the indictment with 
having thrust his sword through the body of Sir Walter " quhen he was 
halden to yow," calling out at the same time to Kerr of Cessford, " Strike, 
tretour, ane straik for thy faderis sake." Hume then cast the body into a 
booth, saying, " Lie there, with my malison, for I had rather gang by thy 
grave nor thy door." Eobert Kirkton and John Pakok, servant to Hume, 
passing the place soon afterwards, found Sir Walter not yet dead, and each of 
them struck him " three or four times through the body." Stripping him of 
his cloak and bonnet, which they carried off, they were met by the Bute 
Herald, in reply to whose questions they answered that " there was ane lad 
fallen." George Hoppringill of Torwoodlie having provided horses to the 
Laird of Cessford, he made his escape from Edinburgh with his accomplices. 1 

" Bards long shall tell 
How Lord Walter fell ! 
When startled burghers fled, afar, 
The furies of the Border war ; 
When the streets of high Dunedin 
Saw lances gleam, and falchions redden, 
And heard the slogan's deadly yell — 
Then the chief of Branksome fell. 

" Can piety the discord heal, 

Or stanch the death-feud's enmity 1 
Can Christian lore, can patriot zeal, 

Can love of blessed charity ? 
No ! vainly to each holy shrine, 

In mutual pilgrimage, they drew ; 
Implored, in vain, the grace divine 

For chiefs, their own red falchions slew : 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 209. 


While Cessford owns the rule of Carr, 

While Ettrick boasts the line of Scott, 
The slaughtered chiefs, the mortal jar, 
The havoc of the feudal war, 

Shall never, never be forgot I" 1 

For this murder the Kens were declared rebels, and by the violence of 
the Scotts, who were not slow in retaliating, as well as by the efforts of the 
Government officers to enforce the sentence of rebellion, they suffered much 
loss. This appears from the petition presented by Sir Walter Kerr of 
Cessford, Sir John Kerr of Ferniherst, and Sir Andrew Kerr of Hirsel, to 
the Queen, the Lord Governor, and Lords of Secret Council, dated Edinburgh, 
8th December 1552, which affords an illustration of the miseries produced by 
the relentless spirit of a border feud. The petition narrates that when the 
Governor had lately been in Jedburgh anent the " unhappy chance qukilk 
happenit us in the slaughter of the Laird of Buccleuch," they had offered to 
do all in their power to satisfy the Governor, their lives and heritages being 
secured, and that the case was continued to the meeting of the Council at 
Edinburgh. Since the departure of his Grace from Jedburgh, the petition 
further goes on to say, his servants had seized upon their houses, possessions, 
and goods, so that they had nothing, unless they stole and plundered, to sus- 
tain themselves, their wives and children ; and being at the horn they dared 
not resort to their friends, but lay in the woods and fells. Their enemies 
had slain divers of their friends not guilty of any crime committed by them, 
and daily sought and pursued them and all their friends, kinsmen, and ser- 
vants for their slaughter, so that none of them dared, from fear of their lives, 
to come to kirk, market, nor to the Governor to ask a remedy from him ; and 
unless his Grace had compassion upon them, they and theirs would be brought 
to perpetual ruin. 

The answer of the Council to the petition was to the effect that the com- 
plainers and their accomplices who were implicated in the death of Sir 
1 Lay of the Last Minstrel, Canto First. 



Walter Scott, and at the horn for the same, should be banished, and remain 
in the realm of France, under sufficient caution not to return without special 
licence from the Lord Governor ; and that one or two gentlemen of the Kerrs 
who were the Queen's liegemen, should raise of the Kerrs, and all others 
their kin and friends within the wardenry of the Middle Marches, one hundred 
horsemen well furnished, to go to France with the General, as others, to be 
raised of the realm, were to do, the Scotts, their friends and allies, being 
excepted. The Scotts were excepted, because to have sent any number of 
them with the Kerrs would have tended to perpetuate the feud which it was 
the object of the Government to terminate. 1 

The Kerrs were thus permitted by the Government, greatly owing to 
their alliance with the Homes, and to the favour of the Queen Dowager, to 
go into a kind of honourable exile, as an auxiliary force which the Scottish 
Council were to despatch to France. King Edward in his journal says that 
the troops were to consist of four thousand infantry, commanded by the Earl 
of Cassillis, and five hundred men-at-arms, to be led by the Homes and 
Kerrs. The number of horsemen to be raised on the Borders was four hundred, 
as we find from an order of Council 12th December 1552, causing pro- 
clamation to be made " that thai and ilk ane of thame haif and prepair in 
reddynes habill and sufficient horsemen, weill furnist and grathit, as is 
statute and ordanit, that is to say, ilk horseman to have ane dowbill 
horse, with jak, steilbonett, splent, swerd, buklair, and speir of six ellis lang 
or thairby." 2 

Sir Walter Scott was married three times. His first wife was Elizabeth 
Carmichael, of the family of Carmichael of that Ilk, afterwards Earls of 
Hyndford. 3 The marriage took place before 4th September 1523, on which 
date Sir Walter and Elizabeth Carmichael his spouse received a Crown 
charter of the barony of Eckford. Elizabeth, Lady Buccleuch, predeceased 
her husband before the year 1530. Of that marriage there were two sons — 

1 Sir Walter Scott's Border Antiquities, 
vol. ii. Appendix No. II. p. xxxi. 

2 Privy Council Records. 

3 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 140. 



1 . David, the eldest, to whom his father, for family reasons, conveyed by dis- 
position, dated 20th October 1528, the greater part of his estate, including the 
lands and baronies of Branxholm, Eckfurd, and Kirkurd; also the lands and lord- 
ships of Buccleuch, Rankilburn, and Lempetlaw, to be held of the Crown, Sir 
Walter reserving the liferent and a reasonable terce to his spouse. 1 David Scott 
predeceased his father before 1544, unmarried, and without issue. 

2. Sir William of Kirkurd, who also predeceased his father, leaving a son, 
Walter, who succeeded to the Buccleuch estates on the death of his grandfather. 

Sir Walter married, secondly, contract dated January 1530, Janet Kerr, 
daughter of Andrew Kerr of Fernihirst. 2 She was relict of George Turnbull 
of Bedrule. The contract provided that as Sir Walter and Janet were second 
and third of affinity, third of consanguinity, and third and fourth of 
affinity, they should send to Borne for a dispensation. Janet Kerr also pre- 
deceased her husband ; and of that marriage there was no issue. 

He married, thirdly, in or about the year 1543, Janet Betoun, who, like 
Sir Walter Scott, had been twice previously married. She was a daughter of 
John Betoun of Creich, who was a cousin of Cardinal Betoun, and nephew of 
Archbishop James Betoun. Janet Betoun married, first, Sir James Creichton 
of Cranston Biddel, who died about 1539. She married, secondly, Simon 
Preston of Craigmillar, from whom she was divorced. She had to Sir James 
Creichton a son, James, who was retoured heir to his father on 23d January 
1539-40. 3 One of his tutors was David, Cardinal Betoun, Archbishop of 
St. Andrews. 4 

Sir Walter Scott had by Janet Betoun two sons and three daughters. 
The daughters are named in a letter of Queen Mary in 1564, instructing Sir 
John Bellenden, Justice-Clerk, to deliver to Dame Janet Betoun, relict of 
the late Sir Walter Scott, and Grissell, Janet, and Margaret Scott, his 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, pp. 156, 157 ; Reg. 
Mag. Sig., Lib. xxii. No. 205. 

- Vol. ii. of this work, p. 162. 

3 Ihkl. p. 167. 

VOL. I. 

4 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 179. Janet 
Betoun obtained from the tutors a discharge, 
dated 14th November 1542, of all her intro- 
missions with the rents of Cranston Kiddel, 




daughters, a bond of assurance which had been taken by Sir Walter and the 
Kerrs. The bond was subscribed in May 1552 by Buccleuch, Cessford, and 
Fernihirst, each for his kin and friends ; and they undertook to hold each 
other unharmed until the next Candlemas thereafter, under a penalty pay- 
able by the party who should break the bond. Buccleuch having been slain 
by the Kerrs before the expiry of the time named in the agreement, pro- 
ceedings were taken, as appears by this letter, to enforce payment of the 
penalty, with what result is not known. 1 

The sons were Walter and David. By charter by James, Abbot of Melrose, 
dated 10th February 1546, the lands of Appletreleis, Meirbank, Soutarcroft, 
Carteleys, and Hawkburne, were provided to Sir Walter Scott and Janet Betoun, 
and their two sons, and the heirs-male of the latter. Failing male issue of the 
sons, the lands were to return to the heirs-male of their father ; and as his heirs- 
male inherited the lands, it shows that the two sons died without male issue. 2 

1. Grissel, who married William, sixth Lord Borthwick, who died in 1599. 

>«rt»tf«aP jf&Qiup 

1 Buccleuch Charter-room. 

- Buccleuch Charter-room, Bundle XI, 


2. Janet, who on 22d March 1564-65 was contracted to marry George 
Kerr, eldest son of Andrew Kerr of Fawdonside, but the marriage did not 
take place, and Janet Scott married John Cranstoun of that Ilk, ancestor of 
Lord Cranstoun. 

3. Margaret, who was living in 1564. No subsequent notice of her has 
been found. 

Dame Janet Betoun survived her husband, Sir Walter Scott of Buccleuch, 
nearly sixteen years. Her memory has been immortalised by Sir Walter 
Scott in the "Lay of the Last Minstrel," of which she is the heroine. He 
there describes her intense desire for vengeance on her husband's murderers 
as overmastering her sorrow for his loss — 

" In sorrow o'er Lord Walter's bier 

The warlike foresters had bent ; 
And many a flower, and many a tear, 

Old Teviot's maids and matrons lent : 
But o'er her warrior's bloody bier 
The Ladye dropp'd nor flower nor tear ! 
Vengeance, deep-brooding o'er the slain, 

Had lock'd the source of softer woe ; 
And burning pride, and high disdain, 

Forbade the rising tear to flow ; 
Until, amid his sorrowing clan, 

Her son lisp'd from the nurse's knee — 
' And if I live to be a man, 

My father's death revenged shall be ! ' 
Then fast the mother's tears did seek 
To dew the infant's kindling cheek." 1 

After the death of her husband, the Lady of Buccleuch marched at the 

head of an armed body of two hundred of her clan to the Kirk of St. Mary of 

the Lowes, in Yarrow, breaking open the doors of the church in order to seize 

the Laird of Cranstoun. She was accused before the Justice for this exploit, 

1 Lay of the Last Minstrel, Canto First. 


but by a warrant from the Queen Regent lie was discharged from proceeding 
against Lady Buccleuch. At a later period she was mixed up with the affairs 
of Queen Mary and Both well, and was popularly believed to have influenced 
their attachment by means of witchcraft. One of the placards of the time, 
which was fastened to the door of the Tolbooth at Edinburgh, accuses of the 
murder of Darnley, Lord Both well, and others, " and the Queen assenting 
thereto, through the persuasion of the Earl Bothwel, and the witchcraft of 
the Lady Buckleugh." 1 She had also been on intimate terms with Mary 
Queen Regent, and one of her letters has been preserved, which may be here 
given as a relic of this remarkable woman : — 


Madame, — -Efter maist humyll commendatioun of sendee, empleise zour grace 
be advertisit, I haif tareit heir tliir aucht dayes bipast, in houp of zour cumyng 
to this towne, awaiting thairupone to haif spoking zour grace at lentil in all my 
necessar besinesse, ffor my suyr truist and esperance is onelie in zour grace abone 
all utheris of this realme ; and I, wyth all ffreindis pertening me, salbe zour 
trew seruitouris in all sic behalfis as ye pleise command ws, besekand your grace to 
send me aduertisment gif ye intend to be heir schortlie or nocht, ffor I will await 
yit forder vpone your cumyng. I haif committit sum part of my mynd be toung 
to my broder, the berar lieirof, quhamto pleise your grace geif credit. And God 
Almichty preserve your grace eternalie. Off Edinburgh, the xxviii of Januar 
1553, be your oratrix." 2 

(\m<^\Ia?a^ titty 

' Buchanan's Detection, p. 151. 

3 Maitland Club Miscellany, vol. i. p. 40. 


Dame Janet Betoun, Lady of Buccleueh, died in January 1568-69, 
having survived her husband, Sir Walter Scott, sixteen years. 

Sir Walter Scott's son, Sir William, having predeceased him by a few 
months, Sir Walter was succeeded in the estates by his grandson, Walter 

Vt<tfH*^-6Voy-^A- Q^ZX^lr 

^v^l Wvb ^ 




Circa 1520-1552. 

GRISSEL BETOUN (of Ckeich). 

fPHIS young Knight of Buccleuch affords another instance, among several 
which occurred, of the heir-apparent predeceasing his father and never 
inheriting the family estates. Sir William Scott appears to have been pro- 
vided to Kirkurd, as his designation was of Kirkurd and younger of Buccleuch. 
Satchells thus describes him : — " Sir William Scott of Branksom, called 
Whitecloak. He was the son of Wicked Wat." 

" As fortune smil'd or frown'd, 
Content that worthy was." 1 

These descriptions by the family annalist of persons who lived so long before 
his time are merely traditional, and are not given from personal knowledge. 
However graphic such traits of character may be, they must be taken with 

True to his training, this young Scott knight made frequent inroads on 
the English borders, sometimes in company with his father, at other times at 
the head of a body of his retainers and friends. Sir John Dudley, Viscount 
Lisle, Warden of the English Marches, in a letter to King Henry the Eighth, 
dated Castle of Alnwick, 9th January [1542-3], thus alludes to one of these 

1 History of the name of Scot, p. 4S. 


raids : — " As touching the state of your Grace's borders, the same continueth 
in such terms as in my former letters I have advertised your Majesty, and 
our neighbours of Scotland hath done but little harm unto us since the death 
of their King. But this clay I was informed that the Lord of Buccleuch's 
son was j'esterday, in the morning, within your Grace's realm, with an 
hundred horses, but they had no leisure to carry neither boutie nor prisoner 
away. And since that he hath begone (which, as I perceive, is none of the 
Earl of Angus friends), I trust his father, and he too, shall repent it or it be 
long." 1 

The very unsettled state of the Borders after the death of King James the 
Fifth, and during the minority of his daughter, Queen Mary, formed a source 
of great anxiety to the successive Kegents the Earl of Arran and the queen- 
mother. The Scotts of Buccleuch supported the Begents against their old 
enemies of England. The proceedings in Parliament in the year 1545 
show the unsettled state of the borders, and the steps taken for the security 
of life and property. Sir William Scott and other Border proprietors, in pre- 
sence of the Lord Governor and Lords of Council, in the Parliament which 
met at Linlithgow on 4th October, — 

" Taking the burden upon them for themselves, their kin, friends, men, tenants, 
servants, adherents, allies, partakers, and all others that depended upon them, 
bound themselves to rise, concur together, without any fear or dread or for any 
feud or cause being among them, to resist our old enemies of England, and defend 
the realm ; and to resist all Scots traitors, and thieves both from stealing and 
reifing within the realm; and that each should concur with the others at all frays 
and followings night and day ; and each to take part with others assured, each of 
the other, their kin, friends, men, tenants, servants, adherents, and partakers, and 
all others that depended upon them, to be unhurt and unpursued in their persons, 
lands, tacks, steadings, rooms, and possessions whatsoever, unto the feast of 
Candlemas next to come inclusive, under the pains, in case of failure, of perjury 
and infamy, and of never being reputed nor holden an honest man, nor admitted 

1 State Papers, King Henry viii., vol. v. p. 241. 


into honest company, but to be held odious and abominable as breakers of their 
faith. This assurance was subscribed by 

Walter Ker of Cesfurd. 
Jhon Ker. 

Wylzem Scott. 

Johne Rutherfurd of Hunthill. 
Nychol Rutherfurd of Hundole. 
Wm. Douglas." 1 

To enable the Lords, barons, and other gentlemen of the Merse and Teviot- 
dale to resist and invade their old enemies of England, and to resist thieves 
and traitors that invaded any part of the realm of Scotland, the Lord Governor 
and the Parliament granted 1000 horsemen, whom they were to pay, to 
remain for three months or more, as they should judge to be expedient, 
upon the Borders. These Lords, barons, and gentlemen, consisting chiefly of 
Homes, Kerrs, and including Sir William Scott, in presence of the Lord 
Governor and Lords of Privy Council, at Linlithgow, on the same 5th October 
1545 — 

" Became bound for themselves, their tenants, servants, and partakers, to resist to the 
uttermost of their power all such thieves and traitors in Merse, Teviotdale, Lothian, 
Tweeddale, or any other parts of this realm ; and if any such persons be dwelling 
on their proper lands, tacks, steadings, rooms, or bailiaries, they should take and 
apprehend all such persons complained upon, as soon as they were charged thereto 
by the Lord Governor, or any other having power of him, and bring them to the 
Lord Governor Justice, or any other that should be depute thereto, to be punished 
for their trespasses ; and to cause, as far as they could, the persons skathed to get 
restitution of their goods taken from them ; and if the said trespassers dwelt without 
their bounds in any other places, immediately after they were charged by the Lord 
Governor, or others having power of him, they should rise, concur, and ride all 
together to the searching, seeking, and taking of such persons, and delivering 
them to my Lord Governor, justice-deputes, or any other having power of him 
thereto, under the pain to be called and accused as assisters and partakers with 
the said thieves and traitors in their theftous and treasonable deeds, and punished 
therefor to the rigour, conform to the laws of the realm. In witness whereof they 

1 Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, vol. ii. p. 4(j 1 . 


subscribed the present band with their hands. The Lords ordained this band to 
be inserted in the Books of Council, and to have the strength of an Act." 1 

Sir William Scott was with his father, Sir Walter, at the battle of 
Pinkie, fought between the Scots and the English, under the command of 
the Duke of Somerset, in the year 1547, as already shown in the memoir 
of Sir Walter. 

By a bond of manrent, dated 1549, the month not given, granted by 
this knight to Mary, Queen Dowager of Scotland, he bound himself for 
life in service and manrent, to be ready whenever her Grace should require 
him, to do such service as she should require to the uttermost of his power, 
for advancing the authority and liberty of the realm, and also in all her 
Grace's affairs against her enemies whomsoever, and especially against the 
old enemies of England, and all other their partakers and defenders, dis- 
turbers of this realm, of whatsoever nation or country they might be, "pre- 
tending to molest and trouble our Sovereign Lady and her subjects, and 
destroy the liberty of this our native realm." 2 The Queen Dowager, in return 
for the service which the young Buccleuch thus engaged to perform on her 
behalf, bound herself to maintain and defend him in all his honest and lawful 
actions, quarrels, and controversies whatsoever, and to give him yearly 
during his lifetime as much of fees and profits as the deceased John Melwin, 
sometime of Baith, had from her yearly for his service done to her, to be 
taken off the lands from which Melwin had received his fees during his 
lifetime. 3 

The Queen Dowager also granted a letter, dated 30th August 1549, 
whereby, for the further performing of her obligation, she promised to him 
£100 Scots per annum, which James Melwin, sometime of Baith, had in 
yearly fee and pension, to be received from the hands of her chamberlain, 
off the readiest profits and duties of her lands of Star and Morthowcarny, 
in the shire of Fife, during her will. 4 

1 Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, 2 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 195. 

vol. ii. p. 461. 3 Ibid. p. 190. 4 Ibid. p. 192. 

VOL. I. K 


Sir William Scott gave a bond, along with his father and eight other 
persons of the name of Scott, and Bobert Elliot of Bedheuch, to Queen Mary 
and the Earl of Arran, as Eegent, dated 21st May 1550, to assist the Eegent 
in maintaining tranquillity and good rule on the borders. 1 With the exception 
of Sir Walter Scott and his son, Sir William, none of the eight Scotts or Elliot 
could write their names ; these were all written for them by a notary-public. 

During the last year of his life and that of his father, Sir Walter Scott, 
a settlement was made between England and Scotland, which put to rest a 
fruitful source of dispute and controversy between the two countries, and 
which had also been the cause of much contention between the Wardens of 
the Marches on either side of the Border. The tract of country which 
received the name of the Debateable Land, extended from the Solway Firth 
about ten miles in the direction of Liddesdale, its eastern margin being 
bounded by the rivers Esk and Liddel, the western and northern boundary 
being the Sark and the Tarras. In breadth it varied from two to four miles, 
and comprehended what are now the parishes of Canonbie, in Scotland, and 
Kirkandrews, in England. The portion of country here described had re- 
mained in an undetermined state, in all probability, from the time of the War 
of Independence in the fourteenth century. As neither side could make any 
claim against the marauders who inhabited this disputed district without by 
so doing admitting that the lands belonged to the country to whom the claim 
was made, the Debateable Land became the resort of the " broken men " of 
the Borders, who acknowledged no law but their own predatory instincts. 
Claims had been made at various dates by the English Wardens for portions 
of the district, more especially for Canonbie, which they alleged was under 
the protection of the King of England. The Scots, however, disputed this 
claim. In the year 1528 Lord D acre wrote to Wolsey requesting to know 
the King's pleasure respecting Canonbie, to the inhabitants of which he had 
given notice to bring in their protection. They had denied that they lived 
under the protection of England, and claimed to belong to Scotland, alleging 
1 Vol. ii. of this work, pp. 197-199. 



that the merk which they had paid was for the customs, and for the right to 
resort to the market of the city of Carlisle. Dacre then asked whether Canonbie 
should he destroyed or not, as it was profitable for the peace of the Borders 
that it should be wasted, being, as he said, " so noisome a neighbour." The 
answer must have been in the affirmative, as we find that he laid waste the 
district about that time. 

The depreciations which had their source in this unsettled district became 
at length so unbearable to both countries that it was resolved to divide the 
Debateable Land. The Lords of the Scottish Council, in January 1551-2, 
considered the heavy " attemptates committit upoun our Soverane Ladys 
pur leigis be thevis and utheris malefactouris, brokin men, and the diverse 
murthuris and slauchteris committit be thaim in tyme bygane. and specialie 
be the inhabitants of the Debatabill Land, quha nychtlie, day, and con- 
tinualie rydis and makis quotidiane reiffis and oppressionis upon the pur ; 
and in lykmaner all evill doaris and faltouris resortis to the Debatabill Land, 
and quhatsuniever fait thai commit thai ar welcum and ressett be the inhabi- 
tants thairof, and assistis and takis plain part with theif and traitour in thair 
evill dedis." It was impossible, in the existing state of matters, for any injured 
person to obtain redress, or secure punishment on the offenders. Consider- 
ing that the inhabitants of the Debateable Land had been frequently the 
occasion of war, and had always been the chief breakers of the peace, and as 
they had no intention of changing their habits, the Lords of Council concluded 
that the only remedy was that the Debateable Land should be divided. 

Accordingly, in March 1552, Commissioners were appointed for that 
purpose to meet the Commissioners of England. Those appointed on the part 
of Scotland were Gilbert, Earl of Cassillis, Robert Lord Maxwell, Sir James 
Douglas of Drumlanrig, and the Justice-Clerk, Bellenden. Ample powers 
were given to the Commissioners to exercise their discretion in the settle- 
ment, and they were enjoined rather to give way on minor points than to 
leave the land undivided, with the exception of the lands of the Priory of 
Canonbie, which were on no account to be allowed as debateable. 


In order that the Commissioners should be suitably accompanied, the 
Privy Council ordered letters to be sent to the Sheriffs of Berwick, Roxburgh, 
Selkirk, Peebles, Lanark, and Ayr, and to the Bailies of Kyle, Carrick, and 
Cunningham, instructing them to make proclamation to all and sundry 
" Earls, Lords, Barons, landed men, and other substantious gentlemen," that 
with their followers, "bodin in feir of weir," they should meet the Commis- 
sioners at Lochmabenstane on the 29 th April. 

The meeting took place as arranged, with the result that the Debateable 
Land was divided between the two countries. The mode of division was very 
simple, a line being drawn intersecting the disputed territory from the river 
Sark on the west to the Esk on the east. The northern portion, now the 
parish of Canonbie, was assigned to Scotland, and the southern division, 
with some slight additions now represented by the parish of Kirkandrews, 
was apportioned to England. The partition line was marked by stone pillars, 
bearing the armorial ensigns of England and Scotland, placed on the south 
and north sides respectively. 1 

Sir William Scott died about the time of the division of the Debateable 
Land, shortly before the 19th of May 1552, apparently at the Castle of Branx- 
liolm, as on the 19th of that month an inventory of the goods belonging to 
the deceased Sir William Scott of Kirkurd, younger of Buccleuch, who died 
intestate, was made by Sir Walter Scott of Buccleuch, his father, and Walter 
Scott, son and heir of Sir William, at Branxholm. His live-stock, grain, 
and utensils were valued at £549, 19s. 8d., and the debts owing by him 
amounted to £387, 0s. 6d. On the 4th of July following a decreet was given 
by the Commissary-General of Glasgow, appointing Walter Scott, son and 
heir of Sir William, his sole executor-dative to his whole goods and gear, 
and also appointing Sir Walter Scott of Branxholme tutor to Walter Scott, 
his grandson, during his minority. 2 

Sir William Scott married Grissel, second daughter of John Betoun of 
Creich, in the county of Fife, sister of the celebrated Janet Betoun, Lady of 

1 The Book of Carlaverock, vol. i. p. 219. 2 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 211. 



Buccleuch, his father's third wife, whose heroic exploits have been mentioned. 
Of the marriage of Sir William and Grissel Betoun there was issue one son, 
Sir Walter, who, soon after his father's death, succeeded his grandfather, and 
three daughters : — 

1 . Janet, who was the second wife of Sir Thomas Kerr of Fernihirst. He suc- 
ceeded his father, Sir John Kerr, in 1562, and died in 1586. To him she had 
three sons and one daughter — (1.) Sir James Kerr of Crailling, afterwards Lord 
Jedburgh; (2.) Thomas Kerr, who got from his father the lands of Oxenham ; 
(3.) Robert Kerr, afterwards Earl of Somerset, Viscount Rochester, etc. The 
daughter, Anne, married John Lord Balmerino. 

2. Margaret, who married, about 1571, Sir John Johnstone of that Ilk, 
ancestor of the Earls and Marquises of Annandale. Their grandson was created 
successively Lord Johnstone and Earl of Hartfell, whose son was created Earl 
of Annandale, and his son again was made Marquis of Annandale. Sir John 
Johnstone succeeded his grandfather in 1567. He was appointed Warden of the 
West Marches, and Justice-General, by King James the Sixth in 1579. He died 
in 1586. Of his marriage with Margaret Scott, there was issue one son and two 
daughters. The following is a facsimile of the bold signature of Dame Margaret 
Scott, " Lady Johnestoune," elder, from the original appended to a renunciation 
by her in favour of Dame Sara Maxwell, Lady Johnstone, younger, dated 23d June 
1598, at Raehills. 

ai p 7i f 


3. Elizabeth. In the contract between Sir Walter Kerr of Cessford and Sir 
Walter Scott of Branxholm, dated 2 2d March 1564-5, which was made for the 
purpose of composing the feuds between the families of Scott and Kerr, it was 
agreed that Thomas Kerr, second son of Sir Walter Kerr, should marry Elizabeth 


Scott, sister of Sir Walter Scott, between the date of the contract and the 31st of 
May following, without tocher. This marriage does not appear to have taken 
place. Elizabeth Scott married John Carmichael of Meadowflat, Captain of 
Crawford, whose heir was the Earl of Hyndford. 

Dame Grissel Betoun survived Sir William Scott, and married, secondly, 
Sir Andrew Murray of Blackbarony, from whom the Murrays of Blackbarony, 
Elibank, etc., are descended. 

Sir Walter Scott only survived his son, Sir William, for about five months, 
having been slaughtered by the Kerrs in the manner explained in his memoir. 
He was succeeded by his grandson. 

*Sk — \^^m=r~ 





Bokn 1549. Succeeded 1552. Died 1574. 


rPHIS Knight of Buccleuch succeeded his grandfather, Sir Walter Scott, iu 
1552. He was then only three years of age, having been born in 1549. 1 

According to Sir James Melville, who was a contemporary, he was a man 
of rare qualities, wise, true, stout, and modest. 2 Unfortunately he had little 
time for the display of those qualities which had attracted the notice of the 
historian, as he died at the early age of twenty -five. 

He was served heir to his grandfather, Sir Walter Scott, by a retour of 
special service, 6th February 1553-4, in the lands of Branxholm, Quhitchester, 
Buccleuch, Rankilburn, Eilrig, Milsyntoun, and Lempetlaw, in the six husband 
lands of Grymslaw, also in the lands of Kirkurd, in the barony of Branxholm, 
and in the office of bailiary of Melroseland, Ettrickhead, Rodonoland, Esk- 
dalemuir, East Teviotdale land, and Vgingis, belonging to the Abbey of Melrose; 
also in the lands of JSTorthhouse and Thiiiestane, in fee for the office of bailiary. 
The value of these various lands is particularly stated in the retour. The 
lands of Branxholm, with the mansion-house and mill, were then valued at 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 237, uote. 

2 Memoirs by Sir James Melville, edition 1735, p. 223. 


£24 Scots yearly, and in time of peace at 24 merks ; the lands of Quhitchester, 
the lands of Buccleuch and Eankilburn, the lands of Lempetlaw, at £20 
respectively, yearly, and the same in time of peace ; the lands of Eilrige, and 
the lands of Mylsyntoun at £10 respectively, yearly, and the same in time of 
peace ; Portar's lands at £6, and the same in time of peace ; the lands of 
Kirkurd at 80 merks yearly, and the same in time of peace ; and Bingwood- 
field at £52 yearly, and the same in time of peace ; and the office of bailiary 
of Melrose, with the lands of Northhouse and Thirlestane, at £20 yearly, and 
the same in time of peace. All these lands, except those of Eingwoodfield, 
and the bailiary and lands of Melrose, were held of the Crown in chief. The 
lands of Eingwoodfield, and the bailiary of Melrose, with the lands of 
Northhouse and Thirlestane, were held in chief of the Abbot and Convent of 
Melrose, for payment for the lands of Eingwoodfield of £5 2 Scots annually, 
and for the lands of Northhouse and Thirlestane the services of bailiary. 1 

On attaining his majority, Sir Walter Scott granted a discharge, dated 
1569, to Eobert Scott, his cousin, grandson and heir of Eobert Scott of 
Allanehauch, tutor to Sir Walter, of all accounts of the intromissions made 
by the deceased Eobert Scott during the granter's minority. 2 He also 
granted to Eobert Scott the nonentries, mails, farms, and duties of the lands 
and lordship of Quhitchester, in the barony of Branxholm, until the entry of 
the heir. 3 

As the feud between the Scotts of Buccleuch and the Kerrs not only 
continued to exist, but had been greatly aggravated by the slaughter of Sir 
Walter Scott in 1552, the friends of this Sir Walter Scott, to prevent the 
calamitous effects of the feud, which might break out in fierce conflict at any 
time, were extremely anxious to effect a reconciliation between the heads of 
the two clans. This they sought to accomplish by a matrimonial alliance 
between the two families,- — a scheme which had not unfrequently proved the 
means of effecting a reconciliation between hostile clans. 

The curators who acted for Sir Walter Scott were James, Duke of 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 214. - Ibid. p. 225. 3 Ibid. p. 226. 


Chatelherault, Sir John Maxwell of Terregles, afterwards Lord Hemes, Sir 
John. Bellenden of Auchnoule, Justice-Clerk, John Spence of Condie, Lord 
Advocate, Andrew Murray of Blackbarony, Michael Balfour of Burleigh, 
Thomas Scott of Haining, and Robert Scott of Thirlestane. 

By their influence, a contract of marriage was entered into at Edinburgh on 
22d March 1564-5, between Sir Walter Kerr of Cessford and Walter Scott of 
Branxholm, with consent of his curators. The Knight of Cessford acted for 
himself, and took the burden upon him for his bairns, and for his brother, 
Mark Kerr, Commendator of Newbottle, and his bairns, John Hume of 
Coklenknowis and his bairns, Andrew Kerr of Fawdounsyde, his bairns and 
brothers, Thomas Kerr of Marsiugtoune, his father's brother, and their bairns, 
George Kerr of Lyntoune, his bairns, his grandsons and nephews, Bichard 
Kerr of Gaitschaw, his bairns and brothers, Andrew, William, and John 
Kerr, brothers of Sir Thomas Kerr of Fernihirst, knight, Mark Kerr of 
Kippyschaw, and his son, Robert Kerr of Bothtoun, Robert Kerr, elder, 
burgess of Edinburgh, and all others their bairns, brethren, kin, and friends, 
men, tenants, and servants, except their friends under specified, not compre- 
hended under this appointment. Walter Scott of Branxholm, with consent 
of his curators, acted for himself, and took the burden upon him for all of his 
surname, and the relict and bairns of the late Sir Walter Scott of Branxholm, 
his grandfather, and also for William Cranstoune of that Ilk, his bairns and 
brethren, the brother of the deceased Laird of Chisholme, John Glaidstanis of 
that Ilk and his bairns, James Langlandis of that Ilk and his bairns, Walter 
Wache of Syntoun and his bairns, and for James Ormistoun of that Ilk, 
conditionally ; and also for all others his kin, friends, servants, tenants, and 
assisters. By the contract it was agreed that neither Sir Walter Scott, nor 
Sir Walter Kerr, nor any for whom they became bound, should pursue each 
other, nor any comprehended in the contract, criminally nor civilly, for any 
slaughter committed in time past, nor move action nor bear hatred on that 
account, but should bury the same in perpetual oblivion, and live in perfect 
amity in all time coming. It was, however, provided that Sir Walter Scott, 

VOL. I. g 


and those for whom he became bound, should not be prejudged in regard to 
the actions which they intended to pursue against Sir Thomas Kerr of 
Fernihirst, Sir Andrew Kerr of Hirsell, Eobert Kerr of Woodhead, John 
Haldane of that Ilk, Gilbert Kerr of Prymsydloch, James Kerr of Tarbert, 
Eobert Kerr of Gradene, Andrew Kerr of Hietoune, their bairns, brethren, 
and servants, and all others not comprehended in this agreement, but might 
pursue the same as they thought most expedient by the law, because the said 
persons being required by the Laird of Cessford, refused to take part in this 

By that contract it was also arranged, that for the more sure removing of 
all enmity standing betwixt the contracting parties through the unhappy 
slaughter of Sir Walter Scott of Branxholm, and for the better continuance of 
amity among them in time coming, Walter Kerr of Cessford should, upon the 
23d of March then current, come to the parish kirk of Edinburgh, commonly 
called St. Giles' Kirk, and there, in the forenoon, in sight of the people 
assembled for the time, reverently upon his knees, ask God's mercy of the 
slaughter foresaid, and in like manner ask forgiveness of the same from Sir 
AValter Scott of Buccleuch and his friends, who should be present, and there- 
after promise, in the name and fear of God, that he and his friends should 
truly keep their part of the contract, and should stand true friends to 
Buccleuch and his friends in all time coming. Buccleuch promised to 
accept this submission, and promised, in the fear of God, to remit his grudge 
and never remember the same. 

To insure still more the lasting peace of the two families of Scott and Kerr, 
a marriage was also agreed on between Thomas Kerr, son of the Laird of 
Cessford, and a sister of Sir Walter Scott ; and also between George Kerr, 
eldest son of Andrew Kerr of Fawdonside, and Janet Scott, sister of the late 
Sir William Scott of Buccleuch. In the event of the death of George Kerr 
before the completion of the ceremony, it was provided that bis next brother 
should marry Janet Scott. A similar provision was made in the event of 
the death of Janet Scott. The Laird of Cessford bound himself to complete 


this contract under a penalty of 1000 merles, to be paid to Janet Scott or 
her sister, should the marriage fail by default of George Kerr or his 

The contract for the marriage between Janet Scott and George Kerr of 
Fawdonside was the subject of an examination before the Eegent shortly 
after the death of this Sir Walter Scott, and during the minority of his son. 
It was pleaded on the part of "Walter Scott of Brauxholm that, touching the 
marriage of George Kerr, son and apparent heir to Andrew Kerr of Fakloun- 
syde, with Janet Scott, father's sister to umquhile Sir Walter Scott of Branx- 
holm, it was not fulfilled nor accomplished, neither was the sum of 1000 
merks paid to Janet Scott, because of his failing to conform to the contract. 
Kerr was ordered to pay the above sum, and the discharge is recorded in the 
Records of the Privy Council. 1 

As Sir Thomas Kerr of Fernihirst, Sir Andrew Kerr of Hirsell, and 
Gilbert Kerr of Primsideloch, for them and their friends, had refused to 
concur with the Laird of Cessford in this contract, Buccleuch and his 
heirs were therefore not to agree with any of them without the consent 
of Cessford and his heirs ; and should Buccleuch or his heirs agree with 
them, without that consent, before the completing of the marriage betwixt 
Janet Scott or one of her sisters, then neither George Kerr nor any of his 
brothers should be bound to complete the promised marriage. Also, should 
Buccleuch agree with the persons before mentioned, or any of them, after the 
completing of the marriage, without the advice of Cessford, Buccleuch bound 
himself to pay to him 1000 merks as the tocher of Janet Scott, or any of her 
sisters that happened to be married, within forty days after the agreement. 
But it was provided that if Buccleuch should agree with Sir Thomas, Sir 
Andrew, and Gilbert Kerr, or any of them, with advice of the Laird of Cess- 
ford, in that case the latter should not labour nor desire that their " offeris 
ellis offerit " be diminished, but rather that they be augmented. 

The contract is signed by the parties and curators, and by Dame Janet 
1 Privy Council Records, 1575-77, pp. 60, 69, 71. 


Betoun, relict of Sir Walter Scott, as a consenter to these family arrange- 
ments. 1 

Besides these stipulations made in this contract, there were several points 
discussed and agreed to between the parties. Three years after the date of 
that contract, Sir Walter Kerr of Cessford had not fulfilled his part of it, and 
verbal engagements made in addition. This appears from a notarial instru- 
ment, which records that Thomas Scott of Haining, at the chapel of Halydene, 
on 5th October 1567, in the presence of a notary-public and witnesses, 
declared that he had passed to the personal presence of Sir Walter Kerr of 
Cessford, and mentioned the preceding contract, one part of which was that 
Thomas Kerr, second son of Sir Walter Kerr of Cessford, should solemnise 
the holy band of matrimony in face of holy kirk with Elizabeth Scott, sister 
of Sir Walter Scott, before a day specified in the contract, and that there 
were divers heads contained in the contract, with other heads communed and 
agreed upon between the parties, which ought to be fulfilled by Sir Walter 
Kerr, that were not fulfilled before the date of this declaration, and therefore 
required Sir Walter Kerr to say whether he intended to fulfil the contract 
with the verbal agreement between the parties. Sir Walter Kerr being per- 
sonally present, admitted the truth of these statements, and bound himself 
and his heirs faithfully for himself, his sons, friends, and partakers, to fulfil 
the articles contained in the contract, with all communings between them, 
which concerned him. Upon all this Thomas Scott of Haining, in name and 
by the mandate of Walter Scott of Branxholm, took instruments. 2 

It has been previously stated that in the contract entered into with Sir 
Walter Scott and Sir Walter Kerr of Cessford, and other Kerrs, on 2 2d March 
1564-5, Sir Thomas Kerr of Fernihirst, Sir Andrew Kerr of Hirsel, and other 
Kerrs, though invited by Sir Walter Kerr of Cessford, had refused to join in 
the contract. The feud between Sir Walter Scott and these Kerrs therefore 
remained. To compose the differences between him and the Kerrs, who still 

1 Register of Deeds in Court of Session. 

2 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 222. 


maintained their attitude of hostility, was important, not only for the well- 
being of the parties themselves, but for the tranquillity of the Borders. 
Endeavours were, therefore, made to effect a reconciliation. After the lapse 
of four years another agreement was entered into at Melrose, 26th February 
1568-9, between Sir Walter Scott of Branxhohn for himself, and taking the 
burden upon him for Walter Chisholme of that Ilk, and their kin, friends, and 
assisters, with consent of Sir John Bellenden of Auchnoule, knight, Mr. 
John Spens of Condie, Andrew Murray of Blackbarony, and Bobert Scott of 
Thirlestane, his curators, for their interest, on the one part; and Andrew Kerr 
of Hirsell, knight, for himself, and taking the burden upon him for James Kerr 
of Corbet, Walter Hogg, and the remanent of his kin, friends and assisters, 
on the other part, anent the slaughter of Sir Walter Scott of Branxholm, and 
all other quarrels and debates that were or had been in any time bygone 
between the said parties. The contract, however, specially excluded Sir Thomas 
Kerr of Fernihirst, his servants, partakers, and assisters. By the contract it 
was agreed that Sir Andrew Kerr of Hirsell and James Kerr of Corbett, 
accompanied with their kin, friends, servants, and assisters, should, upon 
Sunday, 13th March, compear personally within the parish kirk of Melrose, 
about ten o'clock forenoon, and after the sermon, in presence of the friends of 
both parties and others present at the time, make such homage to Sir Walter 
Scott and his friends as should be thought sufficient by Sir Walter and them 
for the slaughter of his grandfather. In like manner Sir Andrew and James 
Kerr bound themselves, their servants, kin, friends, and assisters, to take, in 
all time coming, a true and faithful part with Sir Walter Scott and his fore- 
saids in all their honest and lawful actions and causes against all deadly, the 
authority alone being excepted. 

A contract of marriage was also made by Sir Andrew Kerr and Walter 
Kerr of Dolphingtoun, his son, by which it was provided that John Kerr, 
whom failing, his brothers in succession, should complete a marriage with 
Elizabeth or Agnes Murray, sisters to Andrew Murray of Blackbarony, one of 
the curators of Buccleuch, as soon as they were of perfect age. The penalty 


for the non-fulfilment of the contract by either Sir Andrew or Walter Kerr 
was fixed at 1000 merks Scots. 

For these causes, Sir Walter Scott for himself, and taking the burden upon 
him for Walter Chisholme of that Ilk, and the remanent of their kin, friends, 
and assisters, agreed to forgive Sir Andrew Kerr, James Kerr, and their fore- 
saids all hatred that they have, had, or may have to them, or to any one of 
them, for the slaughters or any other quarrels or debates that are or have 
been betwixt any of the persons preceding the date of this contract ; likeas 
Sir Andrew Kerr and his foresaids do the same to Sir Walter Scott and his 
foresaids. In like manner Sir Walter Scott should take a true and faithful 
part with Sir Andrew Kerr and his foresaids in all their honest and lawful 
actions, quarrels, and debates whatsoever, against all deadly, the authority 
alone excepted. 1 

Although the feud was now terminated, the elaborate arrangements for 
the intermarriage of the Scotts and Kerrs did not lead to the marriages con- 
templated. It is rather singular that the only Kerr left out of these com- 
plicated contracts, Sir Thomas Kerr of Fernihirst, afterwards married Janet 
Scott, the sister of this Sir Walter Scott. 

Before the feud between the Scotts and Kerrs had been thus terminated, 
a quarrel had commenced between the former and the Elliots, which led to 
a bitter feud, that raged with great fury for a considerable time in the districts 
of Liddesdale and Teviotdale. 

The Elliots, who occupied parts of Liddesdale and Ewesdale, and the 
Debateable ground, although few in number, were among the most hardy and 
daring of the riding clans on the Borders. Their leader at this time was 
Martin Elliot of Braidley, who had great influence over the smaller clans, 
such as the Nixons and Croziers, and over the " broken men " of the West 
and Middle Marches. He was important enough to be subsidised by the 
Government of Queen Elizabeth, who were ever ready — and especially at 
this period — to foment the differences between the Border clans. The 
1 register of Deeds in Court of Session. 


English Wardens, in July 1567, recommended that a sum of £200 should be 
given to him, as he had at that time 600 men under his command. Queen 
Elizabeth directed them to pay him the sum of £100. x 

The feud between the Scotts and Elliots appears to have originated in a 
murder committed by one of the latter in the autumn of the year 1564. 
Randolph reports to Cecil, 24th October 1564, that he expected the Lords of 
Council to be occupied the whole of the next day " upon a great matter of 
controversy about a murder committed by some of the Elliots upon certain of 
the Scotts." There had been five Elliots and Scotts condemned, and three 
of them beheaded that night on the Castle Hill by torchlight. 2 

This severity, however, had not the effect of stanching the feud, and in the 
following spring the Elliots attacked the Scotts, killing some of them, 
burning their houses, and carrying off their goods. A letter from Randolph, 
in April 1565, relates that the Scotts had been at Court requesting licence 
to take revenge at their hands. 3 

The Elliots, although fewer in number, were at first successful, and this 
was no doubt owing to the great influence of their leader, Martin Elliot, who 
had gathered round him many of the members of the smaller clans of 
Liddesdale and the neighbourhood. A party of them, numbering three 
hundred, burnt and spoiled the distance of ten miles round the property of 
Buccleuch, and slew many men, and some women and children. Buccleuch 
soon after, with the men of Teviotdale, as reported by Drury to Cecil, 
" made a raid upon the outlaws of Liddesdale, and there slew seven Crosyers 
and Elwoods, and took great body of cattle." 4 

At this time the Elliots sought the protection of the Queen of England, 
offering to deliver into her hands the castle of the Hermitage. Lord Scrope, 
writing to Cecil, 28th April 1565, says : — " There has lately risen in Liddes- 

1 Bedford to Cecil, 25th July and 7th 3 Calendar of State Papers, Foreign Series, 
August 1567. No. 1111, p. 341. 

2 Calendar of State Papers, Foreign Series, 4 Ibid. 28th May 1565, No. 1206, p. 377. 
No. 757, p. 230. 


dale, between the surnames of the Scotts and the Elwoods, great dissension 
and division, whereupon they are fallen to such disorder as they do daily ride 
and make spoil the one party upon the other. And now the Elwoods have 
secretly, by an Englishman, craved at his hands the protection of the Queen, 
offering not only their whole surname and friends to become English, but also 
to deliver their sovereign's house in Liddesdale, called the Hermitage, and for 
performance thereof they offer to lay in pledge, on their lives, four of the best 
of their name. Where unto he answered, that in respect of the peace between 
their Majesties, he could not accept their offer. Desires to know the Queen's 
pleasure." * 

The disorders had now continued for so long a time, that the Government 
of Queen Mary directed the Master of Maxwell, Warden of the West Marches, 
to communicate with the English Wardens, requesting their aid in putting 
an end to the disturbances, for which assistance provision had been made in 
the agreement of September 1563. The English Wardens, however, with 
the concurrence and approval of Elizabeth, refused to interfere. It suited the 
policy of England at that time rather to foment than to quell the disorders in 
Scotland. Sir John Forster remarks, in his letter to the Privy Council of 
22d June 1565, "the longer that such conditions continue amongst them- 
selves, in better quiet shall we be." 2 It was also considered advisable not to 
give assistance to the Warden of Scotland in suppressing the men of Liddes- 
dale, as in case of war between the two countries, the Elliots and their 
friends might be depended on to join the English, which assistance would be 
lost if they now interfered to their disadvantage. 3 

In the summer of 1565 the Elliots invaded the territory of the Scotts, 
and carried off great plunder. The Scotts pursued them to Ewisdores, and 
became the victims of a stratagem which had for them very disastrous con- 
sequences, as they were led into an ambush of, it is said, four hundred of 

1 Calendar of State Papers, Foreign Series, 3 Calendar of State Papers, Foreign Series. 
No. 1124, p. 347. Scropeto Cecil, 19th June 1565. 

2 Ibid. No. 1261, p. 395. 


their enemies. Being totally unprepared to meet such a force, and taken 
unawares, they were completely overthrown, and a number of them slain. 
Rowland Forster, writing to Bedford shortly after this occurrence, states that 
the Elliots, besides killing a number of the Scotts, took sixty of them prisoners. 1 
The Elliots in this affair must have had the help of the neighbouring clans, 
whose assistance they were in a position to recompense, having received an 
additional subsidy of £50 from the English Government, and a promise of 
£50 more if they continued to acquit themselves as they had been doing. 2 

The struggle between these two rival clans continued with varying 
fortune, the Elliots having at one time been forced to take refuge on the 
English side of the Border, where they had the protection and secret aid of 
the English Warden, until the summer of 1566. Sir John Forster reports in 
July that the Scotts and the Liddesdale men were then agreed, and had com- 
bined to ride and spoil what they could within England. 3 

The disturbed state of the Borders, aggravated by the civil war and dis- 
sensions with which Scotland was torn, was still further increased by the 
secret encouragement and aid which the English Wardens, as we have seen, 
were instructed to afford to the most unruly of the marauders. In the 
autumn of 1565, Bedford reports to Cecil that " he has many of the Elwoods 
yet at his devotion," and that the " Elwoods hold out well, and work still for 
the English, wherein the Warden has travelled much to cause them to do ; 
he keeps them together at the Hermitage, notwithstanding the working of 
Both well to the contrary." 4 Martin Elliot had made repeated offers to serve 
the English. Forster informs Cecil, in April 1567, that Elliot had "offered 
for himself and friends, and also the Armstrongs and the rest of Liddesdale, 
which," he says, " are at the least a thousand or eight hundred men, to bind 
themselves to England." 5 He again offered his services to the English in 

1 Calendar of State Papers, Foreign Series, 3 Calendar of State Papers, Foreign Series, 
Rowland Forster to Bedford, 5th August Forster to Bedford, 26th July 1566. 

1565. -i Ibid. Bedford to Cecil, 28th September 

2 Ibid. Bedford to Queen Elizabeth, 5th and 5th October 1565. 

September 1565. 5 j bi ^ Forster to Cecil, 9th April 1567. 

VOL. I. T 


July, as Forster reports that " Martin Elwood had been again with him saying 
that he had been desired by the Lords of Scotland, of both parties, to come to 
them, and that he answered that he would not come to them because he was 
in band with England. Elliot had also informed him that Bothwell had been 
in Teviotdale trying to induce them to break the Borders, and that the Lady 
of Buccleuch was of his party, and had made " great offers " to Elliot to join 
them. 1 It was at this time that Elliot offered to take Hermitage Castle, 
and deliver it up to the English, and that Queen Elizabeth sent £100 to the 
Elliots. Martin Elliot was equally ready, however, to serve either party, as 
we find him in the same year offering to keep good order on the Borders from 
Berwick to the Hermitage, if the Scottish Government would remit his for- 
mer offences and give him 300 merks Scots, which James Melville, writing 
to Throckmorton, says was granted to him. 

With such material to deal with, it was no easy matter to " settle the 
Borders." A proposal had been made during the previous reign, as the only 
practical method of ending these disturbances, that the Wardens of both 
countries should unite and pursue the thieves, slaying all that were appre- 
hended, " and take all their wives and bairns and bring them to ports, and 
send them away in ships, to be put on land in Ireland, wherefrom they may 
never return again." 2 But this method of pacifying the disturbed districts 
was not tried. 

The confusion which now prevailed throughout the country encouraged 
these marauders to extend the field of their operations. We find that in 
April 1567, Forster reports that the Liddesdale men had of late "spoiled 
and taken up the town of Biggar, never spoiled before, where they have gotten 
great substance of coin, silks, and horses." 3 Not long before they had " spared 
not to ride within eight miles " of Edinburgh. 4 The poor were not spared in 

1 CaleDtlar of State Papers, Foreign Series, 3 Calendar of State Papers, Foreign Series, 

Forster to Bedford, 18th July 1567. Forster to Cecil, 24th April 1567. 

4 Ibid. Randolph to Cecil, 9th September 
- Cottonian MSS. Caligula, Bl No. 296. 1565. 


their ravages. " In all this tyme, fra the quenis grace putting in captivitie 
unto this tyme [October 1567], the thevis of Liddisdaill maid greit hirschip 
on the puir lauboraris of the ground, and that throw wanting of justice, 
for the realme wes so dewydit in syndrie factiounis and conspiratiounis 
that thair wes na auctoritie obeyit, nor na justice execute." 1 

The condition of the Borders at this time, and the evil reputation of the 
Liddesdale men, are quaintly and graphically expressed by Sir Bichard 
Maitland in his "Complaint of the Thieves of Liddesdale :" 2 — 

" Of Liddisdaill, the common theifis 
Sa peartlie stellis now and reifis 
That nane may keip 
Horse, nolt, nor scheip, 
Nor yet dar sleip 
For their mischiefis. 

" Bot commoun taking of blak mail 
They that had flesche, and breid, and aill 
Now are sae wrakit, 
Made bare and nakit, 
Fane to be slakit 
Wi' watter caill." 

Of the many attempts to secure peace in tins unruly district, probably that 
by the Begent Murray was the most successful. He was fortunate in having 
the help and concurrence of the English Wardens, especially in his second 
expedition in 1567, at which time the English supported his party in the State. 

The first expedition by Murray, then Lord James Stewart, was in the 
year 1561, when he had considerable powers delegated to him for punishing 
offenders. Randolph reports that, " Of the Lord James' doings at Jedburgh 
and of the meeting at Kelso with the Lord Grey and Sir John Forster, I 
doubt not but your honour hath been advertised ; he burnt many houses, 

1 Diurnal of Occurrents, p. 125. was born in 1496 and died in 15S6, was a 

- Sir Richard Maitland of Lethington, who Lord of Session and Lord Privy Seal. 


hanged twenty-two or twenty- three, and brought into this town [Edinburgh] 
forty or fifty, of which there are twenty-three in the Castle of Edinburgh. 
The chiefest of all the clans in the Borders are come in, to take what order it 
pleaseth the Queen to appoint to stay theft in tyme to come." 1 

Two years afterwards, a meeting of Commissioners of both countries was 
held in September 1563, when the March Laws were revised and a new treaty 
executed, in which the laws were made more stringent, and the penalty of 
death ordered to be enforced for the third offence. 2 The disordered state of 
Scotland which followed soon after the completion of this treaty, together 
with the encouragement already noticed, which the turbulent spirits of the 
Border received from the English, prevented this convention from having any 
beneficial effect. 

The Eegent Murray, with a force of four thousand horse and foot, made a 
second expedition to the Borders in March 1569. He was met by the 
English Wardens, who also brought a contingent of horsemen. He was also 
accompanied by Sir Walter Scott of Buccleuch, Lord Home, Cessford, and 
Fernihirst. Buccleuch and Fernihirst were appointed to burn and destroy 
Liddesdale. " But at his coming to Liddesdale," writes Sir John Forster 
to Cecil, " sundry of the best of the surnames desired talk with him. And 
there he was content to have received them to mercy, so that they would 
put in good band and pledges that they should be dutiful subjects to their 
young king and the authority, which they said they would do, but the 
sureties that they would have put in should have been but such of them- 
selves as they would have appointed, which the Eegent could not like, and 

1 Randolph to Cecil, 7th December 1561. 

2 The 16th clause, " for the avoiding of 
perjury heretofore committed in the valuing of 
cattle, and for a great terror unto the wicked," 
gives the prices to be paid as compensation — These rates represent what was called the 

Every ox above four years old, 40 shillings sterling, single value or " Principal; " the offender was 

Every cow above four years old. 30 do. + - j.i„ i„:„„j 4. 1 11 

Every ox above two years old, 20 do. frequently ordamed to pay double, or some- 

Every young eow above two years old, 20 do. times treble, the value. — Nicolsou's Border 
Every other beast under two years old, 10 do. 

Every old sheep 6 do. Laws, p. 1 34. 

Every sheep — hogge, 

3 shillings sterling 

Every old swine above one year, 

6 do. 

Every young swine 

2 do. 

Every goat 

5 do. 

Every young goat 

•2 do. 


so parted." Murray being dissatisfied with the sureties, proceeded to burn 
and destroy the whole district of Liddesdale, not leaving a single house 
standing. He lay on the Sunday night at Mangerton, a principal stronghold 
of the Armstrongs, and in the morning caused the whole house to be burned 
and blown up. Forster adds that " the Eegent hath the whole Borders of 
Scotland in obedience at this time, saving only Liddesdale, who I am sure 
will seek to annoy both England and Scotland as far as in their power lies." 1 

Following on the spirited and thorough action of the Eegent Murray in 
quelling the disorders of the border counties, thirty-two of the principal 
barons, provosts, and bailies of towns, and other chief men, subscribed a band 
at Kelso, on the 6th April 1569. Eepresenting the counties of Berwick, 
Boxburgh, Selkirk, and Peebles, they bound themselves to concur to resist 
the rebellious people of Liddesdale, Ewesdale, Eskdale, and Annandale, 
and especially all of the names of Armstrong, Elliot, Nixon, Liddel, Bateson, 
Thompson, Irving, Bell, Johnston, Glendonyng, Eoutlaige, Henderson, and 
Scotts of Ewesdale. Further, they undertook that they would not intercom- 
mune with any of them, nor suffer any meat, drink, or victuals to be bought 
or carried to them, nor suffer them to resort to markets or trysts within their 
bounds, nor permit them to pasture their flocks or abide upon any lands 
" outwith Liddesdale," unless within eight days they should find sufficient 
and responsible sureties. "And all others not finding sureties within the 
said space, we shall pursue to the death with fire and sword, and all other 
kinds of hostility." They further bound themselves to take a " full, true, 
and plane part each one with other," and promised specially to assist 
Buccleuch and others whose estates were near the disturbed districts. 
Among those who signed this band were Lord Home, Walter Ker of Cess- 
ford, Thomas Ker of Fernihirst, and Sir Walter Scott of Buccleuch. 2 

The Eegent returned with a strong force to the Borders in October of the 

1 Forster to Cecil, Cottonian MSS. Caligula, from the Original in H.M. General Register 
CI No. 503. House, Edinburgh. 

- Printed in Piteairn's Criminal Trials, 


same year, when he again dealt effectually with the freebooters, and spread 
such terror amongst them that "the whole surnames of Liddesdale and 
otherwheres generally came in and entered into good assurance and pledges 
for their obedience." 1 A contemporary writer states that he brought with 
him to Edinburgh sixty pledges, and adds, " thair wes sic obedience maid be 
the said thevis to the said regent, as the lyk wes never done to na king in 
na mans dayes of befoir." 2 The number of pledges is elsewhere given as 
above a hundred, and they were mainly Johnstones, Armstrongs, Elliots, 
Beatties, and Grahames. They were distributed throughout the country, in 
St. Andrews, Dundee, Glasgow, and other strongholds. 

The energetic administration of the Borders by the Begent Murray 
might have eventually reduced the turbulent clans to obedience, but his 
career was suddenly cut short by his assassination at Linlithgow, a few 
months after his return from the Borders. 

The evil reputation which has been somewhat indiscriminately bestowed 
on the whole of the borderers, was in reality deserved by a comparatively 
small number. The Homes, Scotts, Kerrs, and other clans, although ever 
ready, with or without excuse, to dash across the Border against their " auld 
enemies of England " — who were neither slow nor unable to make reprisals — 
did not prey upon their own countrymen. 3 And they presented a formidable 
barrier to the ambitious designs of the English monarchs. The men of Liddes- 
dale and its neighbourhood, as we have seen, were not checked by patriotic 
scruples. The Armstrongs, indeed, at one time claimed to be independent of 
the laws of either country. Magnus, in 1529, hears that " the Armestronges 
of Liddesdail reported presumptuously that they would not be ordered neither 
by the King of Scots, their sovereign Lord, nor by the King of England, but 
after such manner as their fathers have used before them." 4 And in 1545 

1 Calendar of State Papers, Foreign Series, 3 The Scotts of Ewesdale excepted ; they 

Lord Scrope to Cecil, 25th October 1569. rode with Liddesctale. 

4 State Papers, Henry VIII., vol. iv. p. 555, 
- Diurnal of Occurrents, p. 151. Magnus to Wolsey, 13th February 1529. 


they formed part of the English army at Ancrum Moor, until on seeing the 
success of the Scots,' they changed sides, and throwing away their red 
crosses, which they wore as an English badge, joined in the pursuit and 
plunder of their allies. The Elliots and others accepted payment for their 
services against their own countrymen from the English Wardens, and even 
offered to seize and deliver to the English the Castle of the Hermitage. 
The inland towns, as we have seen, were not free from their ravages. So 
insufferable had they become in the sixteenth century to English and Scots 
alike, that, as already stated, it had been proposed to exterminate the entire 
male population of Liddesdale. 

This Sir Walter Scott promised to emulate his grandfather, also Sir 
Walter Scott, in military adventure. Taking the part of Queen Mary in 
opposition to those who supported her son, King James the Sixth, he 
maintained her cause with all the ardour of youthful enthusiasm, and so 
powerful was he that he could raise above three thousand men within his 
own district. 1 

He was appointed, by a letter under the Privy Seal of Queen Mary, 24th 
March 1565-6, captain and keeper of Her Majesty's Castle of Newark, in the 
lordship of Ettrick Forest, in the shire of Selkirk, for nineteen years, and had 
assigned to him for the discharge of his office the Queen's liferent-lands, and 
steadings of Cartarhauch, Quhithilwra, Auklwark, and Huntly, in the lordship 
of Ettrick, with the mails, farms, profits, and duties thereof, and he was also 
constituted bailie and chamberlain of Her Majesty's lands and lordship of 
Ettrick Forest during the same period, with all the powers and privileges 
belonging to the office. 2 

On the assassination of the Eegent Murray, on 25th January 1569-70. in 
the street of Linlithgow, by Hamilton of Bothwellhaugh, Sir Walter Scott par- 
took of the elation and joy with which Queen Mary's friends were inspired, 
from the hope that the English faction in Scotland, of which Murray was the 
head, would be extinguished, and that the Queen would soon be restored to regal 

1 Sadler's State Papers, vol. ii. p. 384. - Vol. ii. of this work, p. 220. 


power. In any enterprise, however perilous, which might contribute to such 
a consummation, he was prepared to embark, and he immediately collected 
his followers for action. Hamilton had already taken arms ; the Castles of 
Edinburgh and Dumbarton were in possession of Queen Mary's adherents ; 
succours had arrived in the Clyde from France. So early as the morning 
after Murray's assassination, Sir Walter Scott and Kerr of Fernihirst made 
an incursion into England at the head of a powerful marauding force, accom- 
panied by Nevil, the banished Earl of Westmoreland, a rough soldier and an 
ardent supporter of Queen Mary, whom, as well as other fugitives concerned 
in the great northern rebellion, they received and protected. Like the 
Hamiltons and others of her devoted friends, they seem to have been apprised 
beforehand of the intended assassination of Murray. On being asked ou 
that day on which he started on bis English raid, before intelligence of 
the event could have reached him by the ordinary means, how he could dare, 
so long as Murray was Kegent, to make so outrageous an attempt upon the 
English Borders, Buccleuch answered, " Tush, the Eegent is as cold as my 
bridle-bit." The Earl of Westmoreland, on hearing the tidings of Murray's 
assassination, as Hunsdon wrote to Cecil, threw his hat into the fire in 
demonstration of his joy, doubtless replacing it by a steel-bonnet in token of 
his readiness to fight on behalf of Queen Mary. Having crossed the English 
Borders, Buccleuch and Fernihirst gave loose reins to their hatred of the 
English, laying waste the country by fire and sword wherever they went 
with more than usual fury. 

At these proceedings, perpetrated the very day after Murray's assassina- 
tion, as well as at the protection afforded to her rebels, Queen Elizabeth and 
the English Government were of course greatly incensed. They remonstrated 
with Buccleuch and Fernihirst for their daring outrages. Bandolph, in a letter 
to Cecil, dated Edinburgh, 27th February 1569-70, refers to the answers of 
the Lairds of Fernihirst and Buccleuch. The former, in a letter to the Laird 
of Grange, dated Fernihirst, 23d February [1569-70], writes that he would 
forbear "riding" in England, if he [Grange] could assure him that England 


would not invade nor ride upon him nor upon his friends. 1 But matters had 
gone too far not to provoke retaliation on the part of England. Queen Eliza- 
beth, in a letter to the Earl of Sussex, her lieutenant in the north, dated 10th 
April 1570, instructed him to publish a proclamation explaining her intentions 
in sending him with her army into Scotland, and desired him to use the good 
subjects of that country, who should keep with her, in like favourable sort. 2 
Sussex, in a letter written on the same day from Newcastle to the Earl of 
Morton and others, informs them of his commission from the Queen of 
England to enter Scotland against those who had injured her ; and in one of 
the same date to Sir William Cecil, he says that he hopes to leave a memory 
in Scotland, that they should be afraid again to offer war to England. The 
Earls of Huntly, Argyll, and others attached to the cause of Queen Mary, 
attempted to arrest the progress of Sussex by declaring their wish for peace, 
and despatching a messenger to Elizabeth. Sussex, however, would not 
permit the messenger to pass, and replied to the letter of the Earls that he 
dared not forbear to execute the orders of Queen Elizabeth. 3 

Buccleuch and Fernihirst were the first who, on account of their hostile 
raid into England, suffered from the army headed by Sussex when it entered 
Scotland. On 1 7th April 1570, Sussex and Lord Hunsdon, Governor of Berwick, 
with all the garrisons and power of the East Marches, came to Wark, and on 
the 1 8th, at the break of day, they entered into Teviotdale, and committed to 
the flames all the castles and towns that were in their route, including the 
Castle of Moss, the property of the Laird of Fernihirst, until they came to 
Crailing. On the same day Sir John Forster, at the head of all the garrisons 
and force of the Middle Marches, entered into Teviotdale, and burned all the 
countay, including a strong castle in the possession of the mother of the Laird 
of Fernihirst, and all other castles in his way, until he came to Crailing, 
where both companies met. They went up the river Teviot together, and 

1 Calendar of State Papers, Scotland, vol. i. 3 Calendar of State Tapers, Scotland, vol. i. 
p. 279, No. 30. pp. 2S0-2S2. 

2 Ibid. p. 280, No. 43. 

VOL. 1. U 


burned and overthrew all the castles and towers situated on that river, until 
they came to Jedburgh, where they lodged. 

The Laird of Cessford, Warden of the Scottish Middle Marches, escaped 
the fury of the English on this occasion, for on that day he came to the Lord 
Lieutenant and submitted himself, and having never received the rebels, nor 
invaded England, though there were some in his company who had done both, 
and offering to be answerable for his men's offences, he was received as a 
friend, and to him and his clan were given assurances of safety. 

On the 19th the army was divided into two parts. One portion crossed 
the river Teviot, and burned and razed the Castle of Fernihirst, and all other 
castles and towns of the Lairds of Fernihirst, Hunthill, and Bedrule. They 
then proceeded to Minto. The other portion burned in like manner on 
the other side of the river Teviot, until they came to Hawick, where it 
was intended that they should lodge that night, the bailies having on the 
morning offered to receive the army, and received assurances that their 
town should be spared ; but on the coming of the army thither, it was found 
that the inhabitants had unthatched their houses, and, setting fire to the 
thatch in the streets, had fled. By the fire which began with themselves, 
the whole town was burned. But the English saved the castle of Douglas 
of Drumlanrig, which stood in the town of Hawick, and was known as the 
Tower j 1 and most of his name, as they belonged to the King's faction, were 
favoured by the English. 

On the 20th the army went to Branxholm Castle, and on arriving there, 
as Lord Hunsdon writes to Cecil, they found that it had been burnt by the 
orders of Buccleuch. They blew up the walls with gunpowder. The Castle 
of Branxholm is described as " a very strong house, and well set, and very 
pleasant gardens and orchards about it." 2 

The Castle of Branxholm having been overthrown, the English army 
divided, and advancing more into the inland country, on the north side of 

1 It is now the Tower Hotel of that town. 

2 Calendar of State Papers, Foreign Series, Hunsdon to Cecil, 23d April 1570. 


the river Teviot, they burned all the castles and towns which belonged to 
Buccleuch and his kinsmen, and at night returned to Jedburgh. According 
to the English account of this expedition, there were burned and razed in 
Teviotdale, the country of Ferninirst and Buccleuch, about fifty castles or 
strongholds, and three hundred villages or hamlets. 1 

The wide-spread devastation committed upon the lands and castles of 
Scott of Buccleuch and Kerr of Fernihirst, which ended on the 2 2d of April, 
was only a part of the burst of indignation of Queen Elizabeth and her 
Government. On the 17th of April, Lord Scrope, Warden of the West 
Marches of England, at the head of three thousand horse and foot, passing 
into the western borders of Scotland, where were resident the obnoxious 
Maxwells, committed to the flames in their course for many miles villages 
and granges, and laid waste the fields, taking one thousand oxen, one thousand 
sheep and goats, and making prisoners of a hundred Scots horsemen. 2 The 
Earl of Lennox and Sir William Drury, Marshal of Berwick, were next 
despatched by Queen Elizabeth at the head of twelve hundred foot and 
four hundred horse, to avenge still more, specially upon the Hamiltons, the 
assassination of the Piegent Murray. 

The movements of the Lords who adhered to Queen Mary in Scotland 
were carefully watched by the English Government. Thomas Randolph, 
Queen Elizabeth's ambassador in Scotland, in a letter to Sussex from Edin- 
burgh, 16th September 1570, informs him of the movements of the Earls of 
Lindsay and Cassillis, and of the Lairds of Lethington, Grange, and Buccleuch. 3 

Sir Walter Scott was a principal actor in the attempt made by Queen 
Mary's friends, in execution of a plot formed by Kirkcaldy of Grange, to 
surprise, by a considerable body of horse, the Parliament, which, by the 
summons of the Earl of Lennox, met at the Castle of Stirling, and which 
was numerously attended. This military force was headed by the Earl of 

1 Sir Walter Scott's Border Antiquities, 3 Calendar of State Papers, Scotland, vol. i. 

vol. ii. Appendix No. V. pp. lviii-lx. p. 303, No. 33. 

- Ibid. p. lx. 


Huntly, Lord Claud Hamilton, Scott of Buccleuch, and Spens of "Wormiston. 
Having left Edinburgh on the evening of the 3d September, they arrived at 
Stirling about four o'clock on the morning of the 4th, and the inhabitants 
being asleep, and not a single sentry placed on the walls, they advanced to 
the market cross without the least opposition. Having next surrounded the 
lodgings of the chief nobility, they made the Regent and ten other noblemen 
prisoners, and intended to carry them to Edinburgh. But the enterprise 
which at first promised to be so successful was defeated, mainly through the 
plundering propensities of the borderers, who, unaccustomed to military 
discipline, having left the prisoners unguarded, dispersed to plunder the 
stables of horses, and the houses and merchants' booths of whatever was 
valuable. The party, from their greed of plunder, thus dispersed, and pre- 
vented from making an effective resistance, were soon put to flight by John 
Earl of Mar, keeper of the castle, who sallied out of it with forty soldiers, 
assisted by the citizens ; and all the prisoners were saved, with the exception 
of the Regent Lennox, who was slain. 

The position of affairs was thus suddenly reversed, and Buccleuch, who 
had taken charge of the Earl of Morton, now found himself a prisoner. He 
was not retained, however, as we find him shortly afterwards, in conjunction 
with Kerr of Fernihirst, making an attack on the town of Jedburgh, which 
had incurred the resentment of the Queen's party in consequence of the 
treatment which a herald had received who had been sent by them to make 
proclamation in that town. " He was suffered," says Calderwood, " to read 
his letters till he came to this point, that the Lords assembled in Edinburgh 
had found all the proceedings against the Queen null, and that all men should 
obey her onlie ; then the Proveist caused the pursevant come down from the 
croce, and eate his letters ; thereafter caused loose doun his points, and give 

him his wages with a bridle ; and threatned that if ever he came again 

he sould lose his life." 1 To avenge this contemptuous treatment of the 

herald, Buccleuch and Fernihirst, with a force said to have amounted to three 

1 CalJerwoocFs History, vol. iii. [>. 113. 



thousand men, inarched on Jedburgh. The citizens were joined by Kerr of 
Cessford, and the Eegent sent troops under the command of Lord Buthven, 
who, having made a rapid march, united his forces with those of the towns- 
men, and attacking Buccleuch and Fernihirst, defeated them, taking a number 
of prisoners. 

Soon after this occurrence Buccleuch was warded in Doune Castle, in 
Menteith ; but in July 1572 the Eegent gave him permission to depart from 
ward till 1st August, to set his family affairs in order. His sureties were 
Patrick Crichton of Lugtoun and James Henderson of Fordell. 

The English having withdrawn from Scotland, Sir Walter Scott began, on 
the 24th of March 1571, to rebuild and enlarge the Castle of Branxholm. 
This appears from the following inscription over the arched door : — 

3En . narlii . is . nnchi . nature . hes . bronchi . j)at . sal . lest . ajj . 
Uhatrfare . serbe . @cb . licin . beil . uc . rob . thg . fame . sal . nocht . bekag . 

<Schtr Salter (Scot at <|ftargret *3obalas 

fh-anxholmc 1571. 


The work was continued for three years, but the castle was not completed 
at the time of his death, on 17th April 1574. It was finished by his widow, 
Lady Margaret Douglas, as appears from the inscriptions still on the walls 
of the castle. Around a stone, bearing the arms of Scott of Buccleuch, 
above the original entrance, is the following inscription : — 

§ l \ 5St. . .Srcrt . nmql . ai . |5ranksheim . Sfrtgt. s5e . erf . §r. William . <Seot . 
of . Jiirkntb . liny* . begane . ge . bork . ot . gia . hal . bnent . j)e . 24 . oi . Jftarrlte . 
1571 . Eeir . qbha . iqiairtit . at . (Bob's . ulesour . jj.e . XI . at . Jlnril . 1574 . etc. 

Around an adjoining stone, bearing the arms of Douglas, is this inscrip- 
tion : — 

game . Jttargret . Jbbglas . his . snobs . ctftnpleittit . 
the . Jforsaii . berk . in . ©rtobrr . 157[6]. 


During three years from 1571 to 1574 the rebuilding of Branxholm 
appears to have occupied the attention of Sir Walter Scott. But even then 
he was ready to punish transgressors. A notorious border thief, of the name 
of Hopshaw, was captured and slain by him, as appears from a letter from 
Killygrew to Lord Burleigh, dated 20th June 1573. 1 

Early in the year 1574, Sir Walter was visited with the sickness of which 
he died, and six days before his death he made a legacy and latter will, 
of which the following is an abstract : — 

At Hawick, the 11th of April 1574, Walter Scott of Branxholm, knight, sick 
in body but " hail" in spirit, constituted and ordained James Earl of Morton, 
Begent of Scotland, tutor and governor to his wife and children ; whom failing, 
Archibald Earl of Angus, and under them John Johnstone of that Ilk and John 
Cranstoun of that Ilk. And also constituted and ordained Margaret Douglas, his 
spouse, and Margaret Scott, his daughter, his executors. To John Watson he left 
forty bolls beir ; to Willie Hatoun thirty or forty pounds, as it should please his 
spouse and other friends; to Willie of Allanehauch the kirkland, "his awne 
rowme;" to little Wattie of Boudene he leaves "that to be done to him at the 
sicht of friendis." 

The sum of the inventory of his goods and gear, which consisted almost 
wholly of the stock on his lands, cattle, hogs, sheep, farm produce and 
utensils, etc., was £4742, 19s. The sum of the debts owing to the deceased 
was £1139, 13s. 4d., and the sum of the debts owing by the deceased was 
£4487, 0s. 4d. 

Among the debts owing by Sir Walter were : — To Gideon Murray, his 
half brother, for the mails of the lands of Glenpoyt, of the crop and year of 
1573, £24 ; to the Laird of Johnestoun, for the rest of his tocher, 1400 merks ; 
and to the Laird of Fernihirst, for the rest of his tocher, £1000. 

There rested of free gear, the debts deducted, £1395, 12s.' 2 

1 Calendar of State Papers, Scotland, vol. i. 
p. 379, No. 74. 

2 Record of Testaments, Edinburgh Com- 
missariot, vol. iii., 18th November 15 7 *' 


Sir Walter Scott died at Branxholm, on 17th April 1574, at the early age 
of twenty-five years. 1 

He married Lady Margaret Douglas, daughter of David, seventh Earl 
of Angus, by his Countess, Margaret, daughter of Sir John Hamilton of 
Clydesdale, brother-german to James, Duke of Chattelherault. James 
Douglas, third Earl of Morton, Eegent of Scotland, was her uncle on the 
father's side. The date of the marriage has not been ascertained. But Sir 
Walter had only been about the age of sixteen years, as his son was thirty- 
five years of age in 1600. 

By his marriage with Lady Margaret Douglas, Sir Walter had a son, Sir 
Walter, who succeeded him when in minority, and was afterwards created 
Lord Scott of Buccleuch, and two daughters : — (1.) Margaret, who married 
Eobert Scott of Thirlestane, and had issue ; and (2.) Mary, who married 
William Elliot of Lauriston, and had issue. 

Lady Margaret Douglas survived Sir Walter many years. Shortly after 
his decease she obtained a letter of gift, dated Holyroodhouse, 17th June 
1574, for herself and her heirs, of the ward and non-entries of all lands, 
lordships, and baronies, with castles, manor-places, mills, fishings, woods, etc., 
which belonged to her deceased spouse, Sir Walter Scott of Branxholm, until 
the lawful entry of the rightful heir, being of lawful age, with the relief 
thereof when it should happen, with power to her and her heirs to intromit 
therewith, and to dispone thereof according to their pleasure. 2 

Sir AValter, 3 according to Walter Scott of Satchells, "gave his Lady, 
Dame Margaret Douglas, after him Countess of Bothwell, above two-and- 
twenty thousand merks a year of jointure. . . . Now, lest you should think 
that I flatter, or am a liar, I will nominate the lands and where they lie for 
the justification of myself." 

" To give a just account of that jointure, 
To the Piel and Hathern I will repair, 
1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 237, note ; and 3 Satchells calls him Sir William, confound- 

inscription at Branxholm, supra. ing the son with the father. 

- Vol. ii. of this work, p. 230. 


To Analshope and Glengeber, 

To Wliitup and to Black-grain, 

To Commonside, and Milsanton-lrill, 

And Eilridge is left all alone, 

Except some town-lands in Lanton. 

Now, my muse, to the east country go we, 

And talk of Eckfoord's barony ; 

Which barony she none did miss, 

But all into her jointure was, 

In cumulo I do declare, 

It 's above twenty thousand merks a year : 

It was a worthy conjunct fee. 

For a Knight to give to his Lady ; 

That worthy house when they were but gentry, 

Exceeded far some of nobility." 1 

Lady Margaret Douglas married, secondly, Francis Stuart, Earl of Both- 
well, to whom she had issue three sons and three daughters. 

Francis Stuart was the only son of John Stuart, an illegitimate son of 
King James the Fifth, by Lady Janet Hepburn, sister of James Hepburn, 
Earl of Bothwell. At the time of his father's death Francis Stuart was an 
infant, and Queen Mary acted as his guardian. To this unfortunate Queen 
he ever evinced a strong filial attachment. He was created Earl of Both- 
well, and invested, by King James the Sixth, with the estates of his uncle ; 
but having secretly conspired against King James in 1594, he was forfeited, 
and compelled to seek safety in flight. He first escaped to England, and thence 
he went to France, Spain, and Italy. His estates having been forfeited, he 
was reduced to great pecuniary difficulties. The exhibition of feats of arms, 
fortune-telling, and necromancy, to which he resorted as a means of subsist- 
ence, were inadequate to keep him from falling into poverty and want. He 
died at Naples in 1612. 2 

"We get a glimpse of the Countess in November 1592, at the gate of the 

1 History of the name of Scot, pp. 46, 47. " The Lennox, vol. i. pp. 421, 422. 



Castle of Edinburgh, where she met the King " on her knees, having up her 
hood, crying for Christ's sake that died on the cross, for mercy to her and her 
spouse, with mony tears piteous to behold. The King putting out his hand 
to have tane her up, she kissed the back of his hand thrice. Then he passed 
into the castle, and the lady came doun the street." A fortnight afterwards 
proclamation was made that no man receive the Countess of Bothwell, give 
her entertainment, or have any commerce or society with her in any case, 
" wha had been so lately received in his majesty's favour before. Behold the 
changes of Court !" 

The Countess lived to a great age. She survived her first husband, Sir 
Walter Scott of Buccleuch, for the long period of sixty-six years, and died 
in the year 1640. She was buried at Eckford, in the presence of her great- 
grandson, Francis, Earl of Buccleuch. 

VOL. I. 




Born 1565. Succeeded 1574. Died 1611. 

MARGARET KERR of Cessford. 

rPHIS Sir Walter Scott, the first of the family who was elevated to the 
peerage, was born in the year 1565. Being a minor, in the ninth year 
of his age, at the time of his father's death in 1574, he was placed under the 
guardianship of the tutors and curators appointed to him by the last will of 
his father. James, Earl of Morton, was appointed tutor and governor, whom 
failing, Archibald, Earl of Angus, and under them John Johnstone of that 
Ilk and John Cranstoun of that Ilk. Owing to the state of the feudal 
holding of certain portions of the Buccleuch properties, it was necessary that 
a feudal title should be completed to them soon after the death of his father. 
In virtue of a dispensation from the King, with consent of the Regent Morton, 
he was declared to be of lawful age, for the purpose of enabling him to 
expede services as heir to his ancestors ; and on 3d July 1574, he was retoured 
by special services as heir to his father, Sir Walter Scott, and to his great- 
grandfather, Sir Walter Scott of Branxholm, before the Sheriff of Roxburgh. 

The lands to which he was served heir to his great-grandfather were 
Apiltreleis, Meirbank, Sutercroft, Cartleis, and Halkburne, in the lordship 
and regality of Melrose ; Quhithope, in the barony of Hawick ; Drydone and 
Commonsyd, Greenwood and Lyne, Borthauch and Porterlands. The whole 
of these lands were then in the hands of their respective superiors on account 


of the decease of Sir Walter Scott, the great-grandfather, who died in October 
1552, and of Sir Walter Scott, the father, who died in April 1574, and who 
was only major four years before his death. 1 

The lands embraced in that retour formed only a small portion of the 
Buccleuch estates, and were not amongst the early acquisitions of the family. 
The lands of Appletreleis and others, described in the retour as in the lord- 
ship and regality of Melrose, were granted, as shown in the tenth chapter, to 
Sir Walter Scott of Buccleuch and Janet Betoun, his third wife, and their 
two sons, Walter and David Scott. The elder of these sons was probably 
named after his father, and the younger after Cardinal David Betoun, who 
was a cousin of their mother. In the charter of the lands of Appletreleis and 
others, it was provided that failing male issue of these two sons, the lands 
should return to the male heirs of their father. As the lands were inherited 
by their nephew, Sir Walter Scott, father of the first Lord Scott, it is clear 
that the two sons of Janet Betoun, Walter and David, had both predeceased 
without issue. In making up a feudal title to these lands, this Buccleuch 
expede a service as heir to his father, and to his great-grandfather, who was 
last feudally vested in the lands. 

To the barony of Branxholm separate retours were at the same time 
expede, and the feudal titles to the principal estates were completed in the 
person of young Buccleuch in the year 1574. Having acquired additional 
lands, he obtained from King James the Sixth, in the year 1599, a charter 
of the whole, and containing a new erection of the barony of Branxholm. 

Notwithstanding the precautions which had been taken to compose the 
feud between the Scotts and Kerrs, which have been fully narrated in the 
preceding chapter, the quarrel broke out afresh in the year 1577, three 
years after the succession of Buccleuch to his father, and while he was only 
in his twelfth year. The young Buccleuch may be said to have been born 
and bred amidst Border feuds. In that renewed quarrel between his clan 
and the Kerrs, both parties were ordered to compear before the Privy Council, 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 234. 


that order might be taken in the matter. Meanwhile they were required to 
subscribe a bond of assurance till tbe 31st of October. In January 1578, the 
parties having again compeared before the Eegent, it was alleged on the part 
of Buccleuch, that the contract touching the marriage of George Kerr, son 
and apparent heir of Andrew Kerr of Fauldonsyd, with Janet Scott, had 
not been accomplished, neither had the penalty of 1000 merks incurred for 
its nonfulfilment been paid. Kerr was ordered to pay the penalty, and the 
discharge is recorded in the Books of the Privy Council. And this seems to 
have finally determined the feud between the two families, which had con- 
tinued as a source of irritation for so long a time. 1 

Whilst Buccleuch was still a youth, a serious feud occurred between 
the Scotts and the men of Liddesdale. According to the statement made 
to the Privy Council by Walter Scott of Groldielands, who acted as bailie 
and representative of Buccleuch, and by James Gledstanes of Coklaw and 
Eobert Elliot of Eedheuch, a party of English and Scottish thieves came to 
the town and lands of Meikle Quhitelaw, belonging to Buccleuch, on the 
28th August 1580, and stole from John Gledstanes certain cattle out of his 
byre to his " utter wrak and herschip." The fray having been brought to the 
house of Branxholm, the complainers with their followers to the number of 
fifty persons, rose to the fray as accustomed (the same being during the night), 
and followed the drivers of the cattle through Liddesdale into England, till 
they came to the town of Billieheid, where they searched for the stolen cattle, 
the English placing no impediment in their way. Not succeeding in their 
search, and their horses being fatigued, they turned back, purposing to return 
through Liddesdale. On passing the house of Armstrong of Quhithaugh, 
they were suddenly, and without warning, attacked by a large force, number- 
ing three hundred men, consisting of Armstrongs, Elliots, Croziers, and 
others, assisted by rebels and fugitives from both sides of the Border, and the 
" force of the haill countrie and commouns thereof." The Scotts, taken by 
surprise, and by an ambuscade, defended themselves for some time, but were 

1 Privy Council Records, 1577-7S. 

FEUD WITH LIDDESDALE, 1.580-1584. 165 

unable to contend against so great a disproportion of numbers, especially as 
their horses were so fatigued with the long journey which they had already 
made, and they were eventually overthrown. William Gledstane, one of 
their party; was slain, and more than a dozen wounded, including Walter 
Scott of Goldielands and Eobert Elliot of Kedheuch, and about forty 
prisoners taken, who were kept until they were forced to " mak bond and 
promise unto the said Lard of Quhithauch and his complices to enter agane 
to thame upoun aucht dayis warning." The presence of Eobert Elliot of 
Kedheuch with the Scotts against his own clan is to be accounted for by the 
probability of his having been at that time deputy-keeper of Liddesdale, as 
in January 1581, on the appointment of William Kerr of Cessford, the new 
warden, charges were directed to Elliot and John Carmichael to render the 
castle of the Hermitage to him. 

The persons complained of having been ofttimes called, and not having 
compeared, the Lords of Council ordained letters to be directed to officers of 
arms and Sheriffs in that part, charging them to pass and denounce the 
rebels and put them to the horn, and to escheat and inbring all then move- 
able goods to his Majesty's use. 

Lady Margaret Douglas, Lady Buccleuch, now Countess of Bothwell, and 
the mother of Buccleuch, also suffered from this outbreak of the Liddesdale 
clans. Letters were raised at her instance, and that of James Gledstanes, 
and Walter Scott of Harden, in December 1580, stating that Martin Elliot of 
Braidley had taken on him " the plane ressett, fortificatioun, and mainte- 
nance " of Lancey Armstrong of Quhithauch, his sons and nephews, Martin 
Elliot's own sons and nephews, the Elliots of the Park, and others now de- 
nounced rebels and at the horn. On the 18th October, they with their accom- 
plices, to the number of eighteen persons or thereby, came under silence of 
night to the lands belonging to Lady Margaret Douglas, in liferent, and to the 
Lord of Buccleuch, her son, in heritage, and took thence forty kye and oxen, 
whereof there were slain and " disponit upoun " fourteen kye and oxen in 
Martin Elliot's house of Braidley. Likewise, on the 7th November, they 


took twelve kye, and wounded one of her servants. They are further charged 
with having, on the 12th of October, stolen from her farm of Quhitelaw one 
hundred sheep, and with having taken from the steading of John Gledstanes, 
her servant, twenty kye and oxen and two horses, with the inside gear and 
plenishing. They had also taken from a steading belonging to Walter Scott 
of Harden, eighty cattle and six horses, and the inside plenishing of four of 
the '"' puir tenentis houssis, to their utter wrak and herschip." 

The letters set forth that unless some speedy measures are taken to 
remedy this state of matters, the complainers would be compelled to leave 
their lands. Lady Margaret Douglas compeared for herself and other com- 
plainers. Martin Elliot also compeared personally. None of the others 
charged having appeared before the Council, they were ordered to be put to 
the horn, and all their moveable goods forfeited. 

The feud between the Scotts and the Liddesdale clans continued with 
great bitterness, and the Council having interposed, ordered them to give 
bonds of assurance to each other for the " bettir quietnes and gude rule to 
be kepit in the cuntrie." 

The assurances, however, were soon violated, and the parties had again to 
appear before the Council. The Lords of Council having heard the com- 
plaints on either side, assoilzied Lancey Armstrong of Whithauch for the 
complaint of Eobert Elliot of Eedheuch, for the taking prisoner of Clem 
Nickson, servant to Elliot, in respect that Elliot had refused to make Nickson 
answerable to the Warden and Keeper for crimes and offences with which he 
was charged. 

Witnesses were also ordered to be summoned to prove the complaint of 
Martin Elliot, anent the molestation of the Elliots in possession of the stead- 
ing of Northcroft. Other complaints were remitted to the Warden of the 
Middle Marches for his disposal. The most serious charge against the Scotts 
at this time was, that in the month of April Hob Elliot of Braidley, and 
David Elliot, his brother, passing the gate of Eidschaw on their lawful busi- 
ness, at ten in the morning, Watt Scott of Eidschaw came forth, with five 

FEUD WITH LIDDESDALE, 1580-1584. 167 

or six of his servants, and his brother, and set upon Hob Elliot and his 
brother, and struck the hand from the one and hurt the other in peril of 
his life. This attack having been made during the assurance, the Lords 
of Council ordered Walter Scott of Goldielands, George Scott of Synton, 
Robert Scott of Haining, Adam Scott of Todschawhauch, William Scott of 
Tuschelaw, and a number of other Scotts and their friends, to compear per- 
sonally before the Council on 24th May, bringing their assurance given by 
direction of the Council to Sym Armstrong of Mangerton, Lancy Armstrong 
of Quhithauch, Martin Elliot of Braidley, and other Armstrongs and Elliots, 
to be seen and considered, and to answer to the charges made against them 
for having violated their assurance. 

The parties not having all compeared on the 25th May, the case was 
continued, and on 18th June, and subsequently, sureties were found for 
Walter Scott of Goldielands, George Scott of Synton, and Eobert Scott of 
Haining, that they should enter into ward in the Castle of Edinburgh during 
his Majesty's pleasure, under the penalty of £2000. 

During the succeeding month the case seems to have been discharged for 
the time, so far as the Privy Council were concerned, by additional sureties 
being found for Walter Scott, George Scott, and Eobert Scott, that they should 
compear before the Council on eight days' warning, to answer for the surname 
of Scott, under the penalty of £2000 and £1000 respectively. In respect of 
which surety all former sureties found by them for entry within the Castle of 
Edinburgh were discharged, and the acts made thereupon ordained to be 
deleted, and to have no farther strength, force, nor effect in time coming. 1 

The decrees of the Privy Council had little influence, the executive power 
being weak, and the assurances were again broken. The disturbances 
resulting therefrom continued until the spring of the year 1584, Lady 
Bothwell again suffering considerably from the attacks of the Armstrongs 
and Elliots on her steadings of Bellenden, Eilrig, and other places. The 
Warden, Sir William Kerr, was ordered to hold a court at Jedburgh in April 
1 Privy Council Records, 15S0-S1. 


1582, to decide the disputed cases anent the breaking of the assurance 
between the Scotts and Liddesdale. The difficulty of obtaining justice in 
these disputes, on account of the strong personal feeling on the part of those 
who had to try the cases, is shown by the provision made for the protection 
of parties. It was enacted that any one who alleged that he was at variance 
or feud with the Warden and Justice, wherethrough he might suspect their 
partiality, might supplicate the Council to be exempt from the power of the 
Justiciar. In order that the delinquent should not escape punishment, a 
judge was appointed who belonged to another part of the country. In the 
case of the present feud the judge appointed was James Halyburton, Provost 
of Dundee, who was to be assisted by the Warden and Sheriffs. The feud, 
however, had not been healed in February 1584, as on the 21st of that month 
the principal men of Teviotdale and Liddesdale were commanded to appear 
before the Council on the 10th March, to give advice anent the quieting of 
the troubles and disorders in Teviotdale and Liddesdale, and the observing of 
good order in time coming. Eepresentatives of the Kerrs, Douglases, Turn- 
bulls, Cranstons, Riddells, and others of Teviotdale, and of the Scotts, Walter 
Scott of Goldielands, Scott of Tuschelaw, Howpaslot, Dryhoip, Syntoun, 
Thirlestane, and others, were ordered to compear. 1 

Buccleuch gave early indications of the intrepidity of character for 
which he was afterwards distinguished. For some offence, the nature of 
which has not been ascertained, but in all probability arising from the 
feuds which have been narrated, he was warded in the Castle of Blackness, 
from which he contrived to make his escape. For this he obtained from 
King James the Sixth letters of remission, dated 3d March 1582-3, for his 
treasonable breaking of his Majesty's prison out of ward of the Castle of 
Blackness, without obtaining his Majesty's license." 

When the Earl of Angus marched to Stirling in the year 1585, in order 
to displace the Earl of Arran from the councils of the King, Buccleuch, with 
Home and other Border chiefs, took part in the demonstration. On that 

1 Privy Council Records, 1582-S4. 2 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 23S. 

HIS EARLY EXPLOITS, 1582-1587. 169 

occasion Kininont Willie and Ms " bairns " accompanied the expedition ; not 
satisfied with emptying the stables and pillaging the town, they tore off all 
the iron gratings from the windows and carried them away. 1 

During the minority of Buccleuch a feud had arisen between him and 
the Scotts of Alanhauch, who were his near relations and neighbours in 
Teviotdale. David Scott, son of Adam Scott of Alanhauch, was art and 
part in the slaughter of Hob Dalgleis in Braidhauch, servant and tenant 
of Buccleuch. On the other hand, Buccleuch had slain, but it is said 
accidentally, the before-mentioned David Scott. Feelings of animosity 
were consequently excited between the two families. To reconcile them, 
and terminate the feud, an agreement was entered into on 19th and 22d May 
1585, between Buccleuch and Bobert Scott of Alanhauch, each taking the 
burden on him for his kin, friends, tenants, dependants, and servants. 
Bobert Scott of Alanhauch, with his brother and others, his kin and friends, 
subscribers of the bond, understanding that Buccleuch was innocent of all 
slaughters and other debates moved by the sons of the deceased Adam Scott 
against Buccleuch, his chief, in time of his minority, became bound never 
to find fault with Buccleuch, nor any others, his kin and friends, for 
the accidental slaughter of the deceased David Scott, but should defend 
his chief to the utmost of his power. Bobert Scott also engaged him- 
self, and became bound for his brother and other subscribers of the bond, 
not to associate in counsel or otherwise with any of the sons of Adam 
Scott or their party who did not subscribe the bond. Buccleuch, there- 
fore, for himself and his friends, became bound to maintain and defend 
Bobert Scott of Alanhauch and his brother, with the other subscribers, in all 
their just and lawful actions against all deadly, the king's authority alone 
excepted. 2 The bond is subscribed by Buccleuch and other eight, all of the 
name of Scott ; but only one brother of Bobert Scott of Alanhauch, Walter 
Scott, subscribed the bond. 

Buccleuch commenced at an early age to make incursions over the English 

1 Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, vol. ii. p. 45. - Vol. ii. of this work, p. 239. 

VOL. I. Y 


border, and in the winter of 1587 he and Kerr of Cessford rode together 
with their followers for that purpose. Lord Hunsdon, who had been sent 
by the English Government with a force of six hundred men to keep peace 
on the Borders, having complained of these inroads, Bnccleuch was warded 
in the Castle of Edinburgh, but was soon released on the surety of John 
Murray of Blackbarony and John Carmichael, for his future obedience and 
abstention from hostilities against England. 1 

In the next year, an Act having been passed to prevent the landing of 
strangers on the coast or other parts, Buccleuch was appointed for the 
defence of the sheriffdom of Selkirk, and Kerr of Cessford for that of 
Roxburgh. Again, in 1590, he was appointed, with William Kerr of Cessford, 
George Douglas, John Cranstoun, and Andrew Kerr of Eaudonside, to con- 
duct the proceedings in Roxburghshire under the Act for suppressing the 
Jesuits throughout the country. 2 

Buccleuch was present at the coronation of Queen Anne in 1590, and on 
that occasion he, with a number of others, had conferred on him the honour 
of knighthood. 

Francis Stuart, Earl of Both well, who married the Lady Margaret Douglas, 
the mother of Buccleuch, was now commencing the lawless career which 
ended in his forfeiture. His connection with Buccleuch by his marriage, 
and also his relations with the Borders, together with the daring and intre- 
pidity of his character, had produced much sympathy with him among the 
Borderers, who interconiniuned with him, and at times gave him active help 
in his turbulent proceedings. With their help he had invaded the Supreme 
Court and carried off a witness, whilst the king, who was in the next room, 
did not interfere. Emboldened by his success he attacked the Palace of 
Holyrood, at the head of his desperate followers, and surprised both the 
King and Maitland the Chancellor, whom he might have made prisoners, 
had not the citizens of Edinburgh come to the rescue. 

How far Buccleuch and his friends, who then favoured Bothwell, were 
1 Privy Council Records, 15S7. - Ibid. 158S-90. 


implicated in these lawless proceedings, does not appear. But they had gone 
so far as to render them obnoxious to punishment, and to incur the resent- 
ment of the Government. They obtained, however, letters of pardon by 
King James the Sixth, under the great seal, dated at Falkland, September 
1591, for their intercommuning with the Earl of Bothwell, and were admitted 
to the king's peace. These letters included Buccleuch, Walter Scott of 
Harden, and Walter Scott of Quhitslaid. 1 

The date of the letters of pardon is also the date fixed for the departure 
abroad of Buccleuch, who, on the 4th September 1591, obtained a licence for 
that purpose from King James. The letter provides that if he should be 
prevented by wind or weather from taking his passage by sea, or until he 
received a passport from England, he was to remain within the bounds of 
Edinburgh or Leith, until he took his departure from the realm, under the 
penalty of £10,000. Buccleuch had been in that same year appointed keeper 
of Liddesdale, and, with a view to his departure abroad, he was relieved of the 
office, to which he was reappointed after his return. The terms of the letter 
of licence imply that he was sent out of the realm of Scotland on account of 
his intercommuning with Bothwell. 2 Letters were granted by the king, 
dated 7th August 1591, by which he took under his protection, during 
Buccleuch's residence abroad, his wife and children, and all his lands and 
possessions, and directing that all actions and causes concerning him should 
remain in abeyance until forty days after his return. 3 

Before proceeding to France, Buccleuch arranged a dispute which had 
arisen between him and Sir Andrew Kerr of Fernihirst, respecting a right 
claimed by the latter to a lease of the teind-sheaves of Innerleithen. In 
this quarrel John Chalmers and John Kirkcaldy, servants of Fernihirst, 
were killed, and others severely wounded, by Buccleuch, his friends and 
servants, within the burgh of Edinburgh. A truce was arranged between 
the opposing parties, to remain in force until forty days after the return 
of Buccleuch from France. He undertook for himself, his friends and 

' Vol. ii. of tins work, p. 249. - Ibid. p. 24S. 3 Buccleuch Charter-room. 


dependants, and all others having interest in the cause, except Michael Scott 
of Aikwood, not to molest or harm Andrew Kerr of Fernihirst, his friends or 
servants, on account of the quarrel and " accident " in Edinburgh, when John 
Kirkcaldy and John Chalmers were killed. The agreement was to be kept 
by each consenting party under the pain of " perjury, defamation, sclannder, 
perpetual tynsall of character, estimation, honour, and credit, and never to 
be repute honest and true in case of any break or contravention of the pre- 
mises." 1 

The time appointed for Buccleuch to remain abroad was three years, but 
this order was altered, and he obtained letters under the signet and sign- 
manual of King James the Sixth, dated at Holyroodhouse, 12th November 
1592, granting him liberty to return to Scotland with such convenient 
diligence as he should think expedient, without penalty or damages being 
incurred by his sureties, who had undertaken that he should remain out of 
the realm for the space of three years. 2 

He made another visit to France at a later time, and on the occasion of 
his second visit to Paris, in the year 1600, he was summoned to appear before 
the Commissioner of the French King, and President of the " Cour des Aides," 
to be examined touching the genealogy and nobility of a certain Andrew 
Scot, Sieur de Savigne, who claimed to be descended from the House of 
Buccleuch. The further object of the inquiry is not stated, but as a number 
of gentlemen of the Scots Body Guard also gave evidence, the examination 
was presumably that of a candidate for entrance into that famous corps. 

On interrogating Buccleuch, it was found that he could not speak the 
French language, and Alexander de Boisthuit, ensign in the King's Scots Body 
Guard, was called as interpreter. The genealogy having then been fully read 
and explained to him by Andrew Scot and M. de Boisthuit, Buccleuch, who 
stated his age to be thirty-five years, requested permission to make his 
deposition in writing, which was done in the following terms : — 

1 Sir Walter Scott's Border Antiquities, vol. ii. Appendix No. III. p. xxxiv. 

2 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 250. 

VISITS FRANCE IN 1591 AND 1600. 173 

" We, the Honourable Gualtier Scot, Baron de Baclongh, do certify to whom 
it may concern, that I have been many times informed, both by my ancestors, 
oldest relations, and friends, that about sixty years ago Bernard Scot, son 
of Gualtier Scot, sprung and descended from our family of Baclough in Scot- 
land, came to France and entered into the service of the then reigning king, 
took up his abode and resided in the said kingdom, commonly bearing arms 
under the command of M. de Lorge, where he died, leaving several children, 
among whom were Andrew Scot and Didier Scot ; that they always were 
faithful in His Majesty's service, as the said Bernard Scot, their father, had 
been before them, which I do declare and affirm for truth. In testimony 
whereof I have hereunto set my hand, the fifteenth of March, One thousand 
six hundred. Baclough." 1 

After the return of Buccleuch from France, he was received with favour 
at the court of King James, and was especially held in high esteem by Queen 
Anne. In the year 1595, when the queen would have had Prince Henry in her 
keeping in the Castle of Edinburgh, she wished Buccleuch to be appointed keeper 
of the castle. Her wishes were frustrated by the influence of John, Earl of 
Mar, nor was the king favourably inclined to gratify the wish of her Majesty. 2 

Francis, Earl of Bothwell, was outlawed, and his honours and estates for- 
feited to the Crown. The king's cousin and favourite, Ludovick, Duke of 
Lennox, being then in great estimation with his Majesty, soon obtained from 
the king a crown charter, containing a grant of the lordship and barony of 
Hailes, and the other lands and baronies which formed the landed Earldom 
of Bothwell, as well as the office of Lord High Admiral of Scotland. 3 

1 The names of the Scots gentlemen who, Melville, Henry Leslie, William de Coburne, 

on the inquiry, pronounced Andrew Scot to David Seton, James Carele, Archibald Beear- 

be descended in direct line from the illustri- ton, David Danstrude, all serving in the com- 

ous family of Scot, Baron de Baclough, were pany of the King's Scots Body Guards, and 

Thomas de Forboys, lieutenant in the King's known to be descended "de noble Race." — 

Scots Body Guard, Alexander de Boithuit, (Buccleuch Charter-room.) 
Esquire, ensign in the said Guards, Thomas 2 Calderwood's History, vol. v. p. 366. 

de Voutelas, exempt in the said Guards, 3 Original Crown Charter, dated 26th June 

George de Coccard, Thomas Cranston, James 1591, Buccleuch Charter-room. 


That grant was no doubt intended to benefit the Duke of Lennox, who 
was then in minority. After possessing the landed Earldom of Bothwell for 
upwards of three years, the Duke of Lennox, with consent of his curators and 
interdicters, made resignation in the hands of the king of the lordship and 
barony of Hailes, with the castle, tower, and fortalice of the same, the lands 
of Petcokis, the lands and barony of Auldhamestoks, the lands of Eastcraig 
and Hoprig, the lands and barony of Morham, all in the constabidary of 
Haddington ; the lands and lordship of Crichton, the lands of Muirhouse and 
Cuprestoun, in the sheriffdom of Edinburgh ; the lauds of Quhitsom, Prender- 
gast, Quhitrig, Obchester, Sheriffbigging, Sherifflands, in the shire of Berwick ; 
the lands and barony of Town Yetholm, the lands of Fermingtoun and 
Langnewton, the lands and baronies of Woltoun and Chamberlain Newton ; 
the lands of Teindside, Harwood, Sladehills, and Carlingpool, in the shire of 
Eoxburgh ; the lands of Alemuir, in the shire of Selkirk ; the lands and 
baronies of Dryfesdale, Carruthers, and Kirkmichaei, the lands of Terrachtie, 
Drumlark, Mabie, and Cruikis, in the shire of Dumfries ; the lands and 
barony of Earlstoun, called Glenken, in the stewartry of Kirkcudbright, the 
lands and barony of Bothwell, in the shire of Lanark, the lands and barony 
of Elgarigle, Woolstoun, Dolphingstoun, and Dunsyre, in the shire of Lanark ; 
and the lands and lordship of Liddesdale, castle and fortalice of Armetage, 
with free forest and regality of the same, in the shire of Eoxburgh. 

The resignation of these lands and baronies was made in the hands of the 
king in his bedchamber, at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, on 4th October 
1594, as appears from the instrument of resignation. 1 

Anticipating the above resignation by a few days, King James the Sixth, by 
a charter under the Great Seal, at Holyroodhouse, 1st October 1594, granted 
to Sir Walter Scott of Branxholm, knight, the lands and barony of Hailes, 
Bothwell, Liddesdale, and others, as contained in the resignation above quoted. 
The cause of granting the charter is thus narrated in the preamble of it : — 

Know ye, whereas we, understanding the good, faithful, and thankful 
1 Original Instrument of Resignation, Buccleuch Charter-room. 


service done by our well-beloved Walter Scott of Branxholme, knight, in 
sundry and diverse employments and services intrusted by us to him, as well 
in pacifying the Borders and middle regions of the Marches of this our 
kingdom, and putting down the insolence and disobedience of our subjects 
dwelling there, as in sundry other weighty affairs committed to his trust, 
tending to the great and singular weal of this our kingdom and of our lieges, 
and tranquillity of the same, wherein he not only performed his duty honour- 
ably and vigorously, with much labour and the greatest diligence, as became 
a faithful subject, but also afforded a clear and evident token of his inclination, 
daily and more and more to persevere in the same service, for which we 
deeming it a truly royal part to reward the said Walter Scott of Branxholme, 
knight ; therefore, and for sundry and divers weighty causes, occasions, and 
considerations moving us, with advice, etc. 

For the causes above specified, and of the king's proper knowledge and 
motive, he by that charter united, annexed, created, erected, and incorporated 
all the lands, lordships, baronies, castles, towers, fortalices, and others 
specified in the charter, in one free lordship and barony, to be called the 
lordship and barony of Hailes in all time coming, and ordained the castle 
and fortalice of the same to be the principal messuage of the lordship and 
barony, and willed that one sasine, taken at the castle of Hailes by Sir 
Walter Scott of Branxholm, knight, the grantee, and his heirs, should be 
sufficient for the whole lordship and barony. 

By that charter the king also granted to Sir Walter Scott the lands and 
estate of Elvillane and Kirkstead, within the shire of Selkirk, which also 
belonged to Ludovic, Duke of Lennox, and were then in the king's hands, by 
resignation or by the forfeiture of the late James or Francis, formerly Earls 
of Bothwell. 1 

After Ludovic, Duke of Lennox, had attained the age of twenty-one 
years, he executed, on the 20th July 1597, a deed of ratification in favour of 
an honourable man and his good friend, Sir Walter Scott of Branxholm, 
1 Original Charter in Buoeleucli Charter-room. 


knight, whereby he ratified and approved of the resignation of the Bothwell 
estates, which was made in his minority, and also of the charter which was 
granted thereon by the king. 

Although the charter by his Majesty bears that it was granted on account 
of the great services which had been rendered by Sir Walter Scott, it appears 
from this ratification that the grant was not altogether disinterested on the 
part of the king and his favourite cousin Lennox. The ratification by the 
latter expressly bears that it was granted for sundry sums of money advanced 
to Lennox by Buccleuch, and for divers others weighty causes, occasions, and 
good considerations moving Lennox. 1 The amount of the money which was 
paid by Buccleuch to Lennox is not specified in the resignation; but it 
appears that on the same day as Lennox executed the ratification, Buccleuch 
granted to him a bond for 2500 merks, and that sum was afterwards paid to 
Lennox. The King thus, on succeeding to the Bothwell estates, made them 
the means of benefiting first his favourite cousin Lennox, and afterwards his 
trusty borderer Buccleuch. 

To fortify the feudal title to the Bothwell estates which were granted to 
him, King James the Sixth, by an assignation, given under his Privy Seal at 
his Court of Whitehall, on the 25th March 1610, constituted his cousin and 
counsellor, Walter, Lord of Buccleuch, and his heirs, assignees to all rever- 
sions and redemptions made by any person or persons in favour of Francis 
and James, sometime Earls of Bothwell. 2 

The Bothwell estates thus acquired by Buccleuch through the forfeiture 
of his stepson, Francis Stuart, formed a large addition to the already exten- 
sive territories of Buccleuch. But it was afterwards arranged by King 
Charles the First that a great portion of the Bothwell estates should be 
restored to the family of Francis Stuart. Liddesdale was the principal 
property of Bothwell which remained with Buccleuch. 

Thomas Kerr, brother of Andrew Kerr of Fernihirst, had received the 

1 Extract Ratification, recorded in the Books of Council on 3d January 1598, in 
Buccleuch Charter-room. 2 Assignation in Buccleuch Charter-room. 


escheat of the liferents of the Countess of Bothwell, as appears from an 
application which he made to the Council against James Scott of Newark, 
Chamberlain-depute of the lands in the Forest, and Willie Donaldson of 
Mortoun, Chamberlain of Eckford and Gryrnmislaw, who had paid the rents 
to the Countess and her husband since the forfeiture. 1 

The Scotts took part in the bloody conflict which occurred at Dryfe 
Sands in December 1593, as a consequence of the long and bitter feud be- 
tween the Johnstones and the Maxwells, providing on that occasion to the 
assistance of the Johnstones a contingent of five hundred men. John, Lord 
Maxwell, then Earl of Morton, was the Warden of the West Marches, and 
using his power as king's lieutenant, brought into the field, according to a 
contemporary writer, a force of one thousand two hundred men against eight 
hundred of the Johnstones and their allies. Lord Maxwell, too confident in 
the superiority of his forces, omitted to gain sufficient information as to the 
movements of his opponent, Sir James Johnstone, who took up a strong and 
advantageous position, and forced Lord Maxwell into an engagement, while 
his men were thrown into disorder in crossing the river Annan. The 
Maxwells, while in that confusion, were defeated with great slaughter, Lord 
Maxwell being himself amongst the number of the slain. 2 

The Scotts were also engaged in the unfortunate collision between the 
Wardens and their followers, which had taken place some years previously, 
and which is commemorated in the ballad of the " Eaid of the Eeidswire :" — 

" And the Lairds Wat, that worthie man, 
Brought in that sirname weil beseen." 3 

Buccleuch, as already stated, had resigned his office of Keeper of Liddes- 

1 PrivyCouncilB,ecords, 7thDecemberl592. tbe Prince. [Privy Council Piecords, 1603.] 
SirWalterScottwasChamberlainoftheForest, 2 The Book of Carlaverock, vol. i. p. 291. 

and in that capacity obtained letters of horn- 3 Walter Scott of Goldielands, a natural 

ing, in 1603, against Sir William Stewart of son of Sir Walter Scott, who was slain by the 

Traquair, for non-payment of £93, 6s. 8d. as Kerrs in 1552, led the clan during the mino- 

his part of the tax raised for the baptism of rity of Buccleuch. 

VOL. I. Z 


dale on his departure for France. After his return, he was reappointed in 
the year 1594, and proclamation was ordered to be made to the Wardens of 
the East and Middle Marches, etc., at the crosses of Jedburgh, Kelso, Hawick, 
and other towns, to give him all assistance in putting down rebels. He was 
freed from the responsibility of bringing to justice any offenders within 
Liddesdale whose offences had been committed previous to his appointment. 1 
He strengthened his position by taking bonds of rnanrent from those around 
him, among others from the Beatties, from whom he obtained a bond, dated 
24th April 1595, Alie Baty of Blaikesk, John Baty of Dovingtoun, and others, 
taking upon them for the whole surname, to be special men and servants to 
serve Buccleuch in all causes and actions, their allegiance to the sovereign 
only excepted. 2 

The duties pertaining to the office of Keeper of Liddesdale were at all times 
arduous and difficult ; and to hold in control the turbulent spirits who dwelt in 
that district must have taxed all the energies of the Warden. The readiness of 
Buccleuch to redress the wrongs of those committed to his care is shown in 
the following Border ballad, which is believed to refer to him. Jamie Teller 
of the Fair Dodhead having had some of his cattle stolen by the English in 
one of their raids, is said to have applied to Gilbert Elliot of Stobs, to whom 
he had paid black mail ; but Elliot having refused to assist him in recovering 
his lost cattle, he applied to Buccleuch : — 

" And when they came to Branxsome Ha' 
They shouted a' both loud and hie, 
Till up and spak him auld Buccleuch, 

Said — ' Whae's this brings the fraye to me V 

' It 's I, Jamie Telfer o' the Fair Dodhead, 

And a harried man I be ! 
Ther 's nought left in the Fair Dodhead 

But a greeting wife and bairnies three.' 

Privy Council Records, October and November 1594. 

Vol. ii. of this work, p. 254. 


' Alack for wae ! ' qnoth the guid auld Lord, 

' And ever my heart is wae for thee ! 
But fye ! gar cry on Willie, my son, 

And see that he come to me speedilie. 

Gar warn the water braid and wide ; 

Gar warn it soon and hastily ! 
They that winna ride for Telfer's kye, 

Let them never look in the face o' me. 

Warn Wat o' Harden and his sons, 

Wi' them will Borthwick water ride ; 
Warn Goudielands and Allanhauch, 

And Gilmanscleuch and Commonside.' 

The Scotts they rade, the Scotts they ran, 

Sae starkly and sae steadilie, 
And aye the ower-word o' the thrang 

Was ' Rise for Branksome readilie!'" 

It is satisfactory to know that Jamie recovered his cattle, with interest, 
through the prompt action of the " guid auld Lord " — 

" For instead of his ain ten milk kye 

Jamie Telfer has gotten thirty and three." 

In order to redress the wrongs perpetrated on the Borders, it was custom- 
ary for the Wardens on either side to hold days of truce, when the " bills " 
or claims of each country were presented for judgment. At that time, when 
so many deadly feuds existed between the English and Scots Borderers, it 
was absolutely necessary that at such meetings for the dispensation of justice, 
some arrangement should be made to prevent an outbreak. It was provided 
that on these days of truce mutual assurance should be given by both parties, 
and proclamation to that effect was made by the Wardens of both countries, 
the assurance being held binding until daybreak on the next morning. 
These assurances of safety were necessary for the transaction of Border 


business, and it was important that they should be faithfully fulfilled, as any 
meeting for settling and arranging mutual complaints from either side of the 
Border must have failed of its purpose, unless the outstanding feuds were for 
the time held in abeyance. 

It was at one of these meetings that the incident occurred, which led to 
the romantic and brilliant exploit for which Buccleuch is more popularly 
known ; which found a prominent place among the ballad minstrelsy of the 
Border, and procured him the title of " The Bold Buccleuch." 

William Armstrong of Kinmont, better known as " Kinmont Willie," was 
one of the most daring and dreaded freebooters in Liddesdale. He is said 
to have been descended from, or at least related to, the famous Johnnie 
Armstrong of Gilnockie, who held such extensive power on the Borders in the 
early part of the sixteenth century, and who, with many of his followers, met 
such a tragic fate at the hands of King James the Fifth. The power of the 
Armstrongs received at that time a severe check, but although they never 
afterwards held such a prominent and powerful position, they still continued 
to attract a large following, and had great influence in Liddesdale and the 
districts near. It is stated by the historians of the time that the Armstrongs 
and their adherents could muster, in 1528, upwards of three thousand horse. 
The Earl of Northumberland states his opinion that no force the Government 
of Scotland could bring against them would have any effect. 

Will of Kinmont had a family of seven sons, all of them trained to the 
foray, brave and hardy moss-troopers, who, with their followers, caused much 
havoc and devastation on the English Border, making their names dreaded 
over an extensive district of country. They were able to bring together as 
many as three hundred followers, and with that number had invaded Tyndale, 
causing much destruction of property, and carrying away a large booty. An 
attempt was made to capture them by Archibald, ninth Earl of Angus, who 
was accompanied by King James the Sixth while destroying their houses. 
He pursued them into Tarras Moss, but though he had taken precautions to 
prevent their escape, he was foiled in his attempt. 


A day of truce was held in the year 1596, at which Thomas Salkeld 
attended as deputy- warden for Lord Scrope, and Eobert Scott of Haining as 
deputy for Buccleuch, then Keeper of Liddesdale. William Armstrong of 
Kinmont was amongst those who accompanied the Scottish deputy-warden. 
After the meeting, and having parted from the deputy, he was riding quietly 
homewards in the evening, with only three or four attendants. Being 
observed by the English as he was passing along the north bank of the river 
Liddel, they crossed the stream, and after a pursuit of several miles on 
Scottish ground, captured and took him before the English deputy, who 
carried him to Carlisle, where he was imprisoned in the castle. His treat- 
ment is graphically described in the well-known Border ballad of " Kinmont 

They band his legs beneath the steed, 
They tied his hands behind his back, 

Tbey guarded him fivesome on each side, 

And they brought him ower the Liddel-rack. 

They led him thro' the Liddel-rack, 

And also thro' the Carlisle Sands, 
And brought him to Carlisle Castell, 

To be at my Lord Scrope's commands. 

" My hands are tied, but my tongue is free, 

And wha will dare this deed avow 1 
Or answer by the Border law, 

Or answer to the bauld Buccleuch 1" 

" Now haud thy tongue, thou rank reiver, 

There 's never a Scot shall set ye free ; 
Before ye cross my castle gate, 

I trow ye shall take farewell o' me." 

" Fear na ye that, my Lord," quo' Willie, 

" By the faith o' my body, Lord Scrope," he said, 

" I never yet lodged in a hostelrie, 
But I paid my lawin' before I gaid." 


Buccleuch, as the king's representative in Liddesclale, who is described 
by one of our historians as " a baron of proud temper, undaunted courage, 
and considered one of the ablest military leaders in Scotland," 1 regarding the 
capture and imprisonment of Kinmont as a flagrant violation of the truce 
and of the Border laws, wrote to Salkeld, the English deputy warden, for 
redress. Salkeld referred him to Lord Scrope, to whom he then wrote, 
demanding the liberation of Kinmont without condition or bond, since 
he had been unlawfully captured, and consequently unlawfully detained. 
Scrope replied that he could not interfere, since the prisoner was so great a 
malefactor, without the consent and authority of Queen Elizabeth and her 
Council. Buccleuch, who was resolved to exhaust every peaceable means of 
obtaining redress before resorting to force, applied to Bobert Bowes, the 
English ambassador at Edinburgh, who at his request wrote to Lord Scrope, 
desiring a friendly settlement of the affair. Application was also made by 
King James to the English warden, through the ambassador, and to Queen 
Elizabeth, but without effect. 

Buccleuch, being the king's officer, and finding his Majesty's honour 
touched, now resolved to rescue the prisoner, but to take his measures for 
that purpose with such precaution as should produce no greater misunder- 
standing between the two sovereigns than would unavoidably result from 
the rescue of a prisoner unlawfully captured and imprisoned. His resolve 
is thus described in the ballad — 

. " is my basnet a widow's curch, 

Or my lance a wand of the willow tree, 
Or my arm a ladye's lilye hand, 

That an English lord should lightly me % 

" And have they e'en ta'en him, Kinmont Willie, 
Against the truce of Border tide, 
And forgotten that the bauld Buccleuch 
Is keeper here on the Scottish side 1 

1 Ty tier's History, vol. vii. p. 315. 



" And have they e'en ta'en him, Kinmont Willie, 
Withouten either dread or fear, 
And forgotten that the bauld Buccleuch 
Can back a steed or shake a spear ] 

" were there war between the lands, 
As well I wot that there is none, 
I would slight Carlisle Castell high, 

Though it were budded of marble stone. 

" I would set that castell in a low, 
And sloken it with English blood ; 
There 's never a man in Cumberland, 
Should ken where Carlisle Castell stood. 

" But since nae war 's between the lands, 
And there is peace, and peace should be, 
I '11 neither harm English lad nor lass, 
And yet the Kinmont freed shall be ! " 

This was a bold resolution on the part of Buccleuch, as the Castle of 
Carlisle was well fortified and strongly garrisoned, in the midst of a populous 
and hostile city, and commanded by Lord Scrope, the English warden of 
the West Marches, a brave and accomplished soldier. Buccleuch, however, 
took his measures with great skill and secrecy. He sent trustworthy men 
to survey and measure the height of the walls, and to examine a postern 
gate, which it was thought would be a good point of attack. Of the men of 
his own clan, he proposed, as we are informed by Satchells, to take with 
him not the chief men, but the younger brothers and sons, to provide against 
a possible forfeiture. With Scott of Harden and Commonside, Sir Gilbert 
Elliot of Stobs, and a limited number of selected men of his own clan, 
Buccleuch set out for the appointed rendezvous at the Tower of Morton, 
the stronghold of Kinmont, on the water of Sark, in the Debateable Land, 
and ten miles distant from Carlisle. There he met the sons of Will 
Armstrong, with their retainers and others of the clan, who had come 


to assist in the rescue of their kinsman. Having caused scaling-ladders 
to be prepared, and such necessary tools as would be requisite for breaking 
through the walls and forcing the gate, they prepared to set out on their 

The party numbered eighty well-armed horsemen, with whom Buccleuch 
marched forward, entering English ground within six miles of Carlisle, 
and passing the water of Esk at the fall of night. A few horsemen were 
sent forward as scouts, followed by an advanced guard and the storm- 
ing party with the scaling-ladders, the whole brought up by Buccleuch 
and the remainder of the expedition in rear. Advancing in this order 
they passed the river Eden, then swollen through the rains, about two 
hours before daybreak, and near Carlisle bridge. On arriving at this 
point the storming party was ordered forward, but on applying their 
ladders to the wall, they found, to their great mortification, that they were 
too short to enable them to reach the top of the wall. Making a breach 
through the wall near the postern gate, a small number of them were 
enabled to pass singly into the outer court, Buccleuch himself being one 
of the first to enter. The postern being then broken open, the remainder 
of the storming party entered and quickly became masters of that portion 
of the castle. 

Buccleuch, to secure the retreat of his men now within the castle, who 
were of course dismounted, against any attack which might be made by 
the townsmen, placed himself with a body of horse between the postern of 
the castle and the nearest port of the town. Communicating with his men 
by sound of trumpet, and making a tumultuous noise, he was successful in 
causing the garrison and townsmen to believe that the place was being- 
attacked by a very much larger force than he had at his disposal. .His 
tactics resulted in the withdrawal of the sentinels and soldiers from the por- 
tion of the castle which he had attacked into the inner stronghold, and 
enabled his followers to achieve the result for which they were striving. 
Lord Scrope M T as himself deceived, as he wrote afterwards to Burghley that 


the Castle of Carlisle had been in the possession of five hundred Scots. The 
garrison having been completely deceived, made no attempt at resistance, 
and the plan of attack having been so well arranged, and so skilfully and 
quickly carried through, they had not time to recover from their surprise till 
the rescue was effected. 

Whilst Buccleuch was thus preparing for a successful retreat, the storm- 
ing party were making their way to the cell of the prisoner. And here no 
time was lost. Buccleuch had provided himself with information as to the 
exact position of Kinmont, and having amongst his followers men who were 
well acquainted with the interior of the castle, they soon found the prison in 
which Armstrong was confined, and having broken it open, carried him forth 
in their arms. Some other prisoners were brought out, but they were imme- 
diately returned by the orders of Buccleuch, who also strictly prevented any 
depredations from being committed. He had issued strict commands to do 
nothing, so far as it could be prevented, that could give the least cause of 
offence either to King James or Queen Elizabeth. 

The rescue of the prisoner is thus described in the ballad : — 

Wi' coulters and wi' fore-hammers 

We garr'd the bars bang merrilie, 
Until we cam to the inner prison, 

Where Willie o' Kinmont he did lie. 

And when we cam to the lower prison 

Where Willie o' Kinmont he did lie : 
" sleep ye, wake ye, Kinmont Willie, 

Upon the morn that thou's to die?" 

"01 sleep saft, and I wake aft, 

It 's lang since sleeping was fleyed frae me ; 

Gie my service back to my wife and bairns 
And a' guid fellows that speer for me." 


VOL. I. 2 A 


Then shoulder high, with shout and cry, 

We bore him down the ladder lang, 
And every stride Red Rowan made 

I wot the Kinmonts aims play'd clang. 

" mony a time," quo' Kinmont Willie, 
" I have ridden horse baith wild and wood ; 

But a rougher beast than Red Rowan 
I ween my legs have ne'er bestrode. 

" And mony a time," quo' Kinmont Willie, 
" I 've prick'd a horse out oure the furs, 

But since the day I back'd a steed 
I never wore sic cumbrous spurs." 

Whilst being carried beneath the Warden's windows, Kinmont is said to 
have shouted a " good-night " to his Lordship, promising to pay him for his 
lodgings when first they should meet on the Border. 

The enterprise having been completely successful, and the clay having 
now broken, Buccleuch hastened to collect together his followers and marched 
to the river, where, as the alarm had now spread, a number of men had 
collected on the other side of the ford. He ordered his trumpets to sound, 
and advanced with his whole force ; but his opponents did not wait to give 
him the opportunity of attacking them, and left the passage of the river free. 
Having crossed the river, he advanced with his company through the territory 
of the Grahames of Esk and Levin, and arrived on the Scots Border about 
two hours after sunrise. 

In swimming his horse through the flooded Eden, Kinmont complained 
of the weight of his irons, remarking that he had never crossed it with such 
heavy spurs. Buccleuch did not judge it prudent to seek for a smith on 
English ground, but after crossing the Border, Kinmont was soon relieved of 
his fetters. 1 

1 A cottage on the roadside between ployed to knock off Kinmont Willie's irons 
Longtoun and Langholm is still pointed out after his escape. [Border Minstrelsy, vol. ii. 
as the residence of the smith who was em- p. 60.] 


The news of this brilliant achievement were soon widely spread, and 
hailed with satisfaction and enthusiasm by the Scots, more especially by 
the Borderers, and the details of the exploit were recorded in their ballad 
poetry, and transmitted in their traditions. 

Intelligence of the rescue of Kinmont by Buccleuch was soon conveyed 
to the English Government by Lord Scrope, who advised that they should 
demand from King James the delivery of Buccleuch, that he might be pun- 
ished as he deserved. Bobert Bowes, Queen Elizabeth's ambassador in Scotland, 
also wrote immediately to Lord Burleigh. In his letter, dated 18th April 
1596, he states that, "While these things have been laboured to pacify the 
troubles on the Borders, a most strange tempest is raised by Buccleuch taking 
forcibly Will of Kinmonth out of the Castle at Carlisle. Likeas, by the Lord 
Scrope's letters received yesterday (and for the which I have attended and 
delayed thus long to write of these matters), I understand is already adver- 
tised, with such certainty of all circumstances in that action as I think it not 
meet to trouble your Lordship with the bruits brought hither some days past, 
aud dispersed by the evil affected, wishing increase of this sudden storm, wherein 
I do right humbly pray timely and perfect directions, with notice of her 
Majesty's pleasure, what I shall demand and do for her Majesty's best satis- 
faction, for finding the indignity so great and the condition of this time and 
estate of causes to be of such quality as they and these matters must be 
censured by her Majesty's will and pleasure. I have therefore thought it 
expedient to attend upon directions herein, and shall be right diligent to 
execute the effects to be commanded to me." 1 

Queen Elizabeth and her Council were deeply incensed on receiving 
the intelligence of Buccleuch's successful enterprise, which they regarded as 
an indignity offered to England, and instructions were sent to the ambassador 
to demand instant redress from King James. 2 

Bowes was indefatigable in his efforts to obtain redress. In an audience 

1 State Papers, Scotland, Elizabeth, vol. 2 Bowes to Burghley, 7th May 1596. State 

lviii. No. 65. Papers, Scotland, Elizabeth, vol. lviii. No. 75. 


of the king at Holyroodhouse, 11th May 1596, he laid before him, in obedi- 
ence to his instructions, " the heinous attempt" made by Buccleuch at her 
Majesty's castle at Carlisle. He was required, he said, to inform the King 
of Scotland of this outrage, and to be urgent for timely redress. The denial 
or delay of due and speedy chastisement would, he continued, be interpreted 
as an intention on the part of his Majesty to break the amity between these 
two princes and their realms. He reminded his Majesty that long and bloody 
wars had been stirred up between the two kingdoms in former times for 
smaller causes. The pride of Buccleuch, he added, in this action argued 
either that the king had assented to the enterprise — and some of Buccleuch's 
followers had said so much — or that Buccleuch treated with contempt the 
king and his orders. This was confirmed by his execution of this deed at 
Carlisle immediately after the king had received Lord Scrope's answer and 
defence of the capture and detention of Will of Kinmonth, and after he had 
expressed his pleasure that the case should be formally tried. Bowes would 
i'arther have the king to consider the dangerous effects that might follow to 
religion should the perpetrator of this foul deed escape with impunity, since 
all the forfeited Earls, with other Papists and Spaniards, had long attempted 
to produce disturbances on the Borders, in order thereby to involve him in 
troubles. He concluded by demanding that the king should command redress 
to be made without delay, by the delivery of Buccleuch simply and without 

" You represent the action of Buccleuch," replied King James, " as worse 
than it really is, or than was his intention. This enterprise he attempted 
from a particular quarrel with Lord Scrope for the capture and detention of 
Kinmonth, who, I have been told by Buccleuch, was, unlawfully and against 
all law and order, taken and detained, and whose delivery he sought, but 
without effect, by all fair and peaceable means. Buccleuch therefore prayed 
me to allow him to liberate Kinmonth the best way that he could. I think 
that he should have procured Kinmonth's escape by a secret passage, through 
some window, or by some such like practice. But I nevertheless did not 


give him permission to make any attempt of the kind, but gave him to 
understand that I had taken order for the trial of the cause, and the deliver- 
ance of Kinmonth by that means. I desire to know the names of the 
persons who have affirmed that I assented to Buccleuch's enterprise, for 
although I have their names certified to me by Lord Scrope, I wish to have 
the accuracy of this confirmed. I admit that some mean men, but not 
counsellors, have endeavoured to persuade me, that by countenancing 
Buccleuch in this business I would encourage others to undertake for me, 
at other times, great enterprises. But these persons and their advice I nothing 
regard, since this offence ought and should be punished according to its 
quality ; and I will be careful to prevent all the dangerous effects which you 
specified, and to give her Majesty good contentment. As to the delivery of 
Buccleuch simply and without condition, I will confer with my Council, who 
are to meet at Edinburgh on the 20th of this month, and with their advice I 
will give a determinate answer touching the particular redress to be made, 
which shall be yielded agreeably to the laws of the Marches and to the 
quality of the offence." 

Bowes, apprehensive that delay would be dangerous, and doubtful what 
the resolution of the Councillors might be, again pressed the king for an 
immediate and determinate answer. The king waived giving an answer in 
so rare and weighty a cause until he first consulted with his Council, and this 
answer Bowes was necessitated to receive for the time. 1 

Buccleuch had strenuous defenders in some of the counsellors and others 
well affected to him, or who wished the violation of peace on the Borders, 
thinking that this might be covertly effected by the impunity of Buccleuch. 
Others, who were well inclined to the English alliance, endeavoured to prevent 
these dangers and inconveniences, by advocating that due and seasonable 
satisfaction should be given to her Majesty. 2 

1 Letter of Robert Bowes to the Privy Council of Queen Elizabeth, dated 12th May 1596. 
State Papers, Scotland, Elizabeth, vol. lviii. No. 79. 

2 Letter of Bowes to Burghley. State Tapers, Scotland, Elizabeth, vol. lviii. No. 86. 


The English Ambassador continued to press urgently for redress, and at 
the king's request made his demand in writing, in the following terms : — a 

" Forasmuch as Walter Scott of Buccleuch, knight (known to be a public 
officer), with his complices, on the 13th of April last past, in warlike manner 
and hostility, hath entered into and invaded her Majesty's realm of England, 
hath assailed her Majesty's castle of Carlisle, and there violently assaulted 
her subjects, and committed other heinous offences there, contrary to the 
league and amity betwixt her Majesty and the king, giving thereby just and 
manifest occasion of the breach and violation of the same league and amity. 
Therefore it is required that he may be both duly fyled for this fact and breach 
of the league and amity, and also delivered for her Majesty, to suffer the 
pains, and to be afflicted and executed on him for the same fault. 

Robert Bowes." 

This demand was brought under the consideration of King James and 
the Council on 25th May. After it was read, Buccleuch being personally 
present, and the attempt having been laid to his charge by the king, spoke 
in justification of himself as follows : — In the demand there is no outrage 
relevantly set forth which can be justly said to amount to any breach of the 
amity between the two kingdoms, or on account of which I ought to be 
delivered up to suffer any penalty. That I invaded England in warlike and 
hostile manner is not said to have been done from forethought intention, nor 
by any deed of hostility following thereupon, such as slaughter, depredation 
of goods, fire-raising, or taking of prisoners. In like manner the assaulting 
of the Castle of Carlisle is not said to have been done from forethought 
purpose to take that castle, which is a necessary qualification of alleged 
assailing, since none will assail but those who have intention to take, nor 
is it said, as following upon that deliberation, that it was actually taken. As 
to the assailing of her Majesty's subjects and other heinous offences, these 

1 Letter of Robert Bowes to Queen Eliza- 
beth's Privy Council, dated Edinburgh, 2d 

June 1596. State Papers, Scotland, Eliza- 
beth, vol. lviii. No. 93. 


imputations are so uncertain and general that it is not necessary to answer 
them until they are more specific. But to declare the simple verity, William 
Kynmonth, a subject of Scotland, was most unjustly taken within the realm 
of Scotland by Thomas Salkeld, Warden-depute of England, accompanied 
with six hundred armed men, within the time of the solemn assurance of the 
day of truce used between the two realms, when William Armstrong was 
returning in peaceable manner from the day of truce, to which he had 
repaired at the special desire of myself, in whose name, as Keeper of Liddes- 
dale, the day was kept. From this it is evident that the first wrong was 
done by the officer of England to me, as known officer of Scotland, by the 
breaking of the assurance of the day of truce, and the taking of a prisoner 
in warlike manner within Scotland, to the dishonour of the king and of the 
realm. And as the first wrong was done by them, so the first delay of 
justice, and the first refusal of redress, was in like manner committed by 
them, after I had made lawful requisition of redress, first by my letters to my 
Lord Scrope, Warden, the principal officer, who, by the refusal of redress and 
detaining the prisoner unlawfully taken, cannot but be thought to have allowed 
what was done by his depute and accounted as doer himself; next by my 
application for redress, often since made to Eobert Bowes, Queen Elizabeth's 
ambassador ; and thirdly, by my complaint to his Majesty, and his Majesty's 
demand to the ambassador for redress. All these recp-iisitions were unjustly 
refused by Lord Scrope, the Warden, and William Armstrong was, notwith- 
standing, unlawfully detained prisoner in the Castle of Carlisle, as he was 
first unjustly taken in Scotland, by open hostility in time of peace, and 
within the time of the standing of the assurance. This was the just cause 
which moved me to attempt the recovery of my own man, not the redress of 
the injury, which yet stands unredressed, for the simple recovery of a man's 
own gear is no sufficient redress for the injury of the spoliation and the 
damage sustained by the long want thereof. In the simple recovery, I 
behaved myself so moderately, that neither Queen Elizabeth nor any good 
subject of England can justly find themselves aggrieved thereby, in respect 


of my coming by night, accompanied only with fourscore horsemen in a most 
quiet manner, without taking of houses, raising of fire, spoliation of goods, 
slaughter or capture of prisoners, with the simple intention of effecting the 
recovery of a subject of Scotland from that part of the castle in which he 
was detained. The blowing of my trumpets did not proceed from any 
contempt, but was merely a means for the preservation of myself and the 
small number who were with me by inspiring terror, and this was also the 
necessary cause for the wounding of one or two Englishmen, who by the 
resistance and actual wounding of a part of my friends, and by the raising of 
a great number of others, might have perilled the lives of myself and my 
whole company. The fact is alleged to be aggravated by my coming to her 
Majesty's castle of Carlisle. But it was necessary for the recovery of 
my said man to come to that place, where he was unjustly detained. Nor 
can the intention, nor the effect to assail and take the castle, be truly 
alleged, but to recover simply my own man, a subject of Scotland, wrongously 
taken, and more wrongously detained within that castle. The king and 
Estates ought not therefore to fjde me as the committer of any outrage, to 
the breach of the amity between the two kingdoms, and far less to deliver 
me to suffer any pains, since I have committed no offence, but have received 
the first wrong, and was first refused justice by the Warden of England after 
the first requisition. This wrong and injury of breaking the assurance of 
the day of truce, and the refusal of redress being committed to the dishonour 
of his Majesty and of the whole realm, and not founded on any particular on 
my part, it would be much more contrary to his Majesty's honour to fyle me, 
without further trial, or to deliver me, his public officer, for maintaining the 
said office and the assurance of the day of truce, without which no peace 
could exist between the two realms. 

Buccleuch having concluded his defence, and the case having been at length 
maturely considered, his Majesty, with consent of the Council, declared 
that they were most willing to maintain inviolable the amity between 
the two realms, and should it be proved that by any existing treaty alleged 


offenders were to be summarily given up, his Majesty would most willingly 
observe the treaty. But if no such treaty could be verified, his Majesty was 
most willing, according to the ancient custom used between the realms, to send 
commissioners to the Borders to try the verity of such alleged mutual injuries 
between the officers of either realm, and to require and make redress to the 
full satisfaction of her Majesty's honour, and of the damage of all her subjects. 1 

The decision of the Council having been made known to the English 
ambassador, he replied that the capture of Kinmonth was asserted by Lord 
Scrope to have been lawfully accomplished ; and, moreover, that it had been pro- 
posed that the matters in dispute should be decided by special commissioners 
appointed by Queen Elizabeth and King James. That proposal, he added, had 
been accepted by the king, but within a few days thereafter Buccleuch executed 
the outrage, which by the treaties of peace, laws, customs, and practices of the 
Marches, ought to be punished, or, as in similar cases, he should be delivered 
up without further proof or delay, upon complaint and information, to the 
English sovereign, without examination and trial by commissioners. 

Bowes having made exception to their verbal answer to his demands, which 
were in writing, they promised speedily to send him the resolution and Act of 
the King and Convention in writing, which, however, in consequence of some 
alterations and accidents, they delayed to deliver to him until the 1st of June. 
On that day Bowes was admitted to an audience of King James, when the 
king appeared very desirous speedily to give redress in this case for the satis- 
faction of her Majesty, and that her Majesty might be pleased to commit 
this cause to the trial of commissioners, as he and the Convention had proposed. 2 

Three days after, the King wrote the following letter to Queen Elizabeth on 
the subject, in which he prays her to consider that the information of her own 
officer was that of only one of the parties, and to stop the one ear until she should 

1 State Papers, Scotland, Elizabeth, vol. 2 Letter of Robert Bowes to Queen Eliza- 

lviii. No. 93 II. Indorsed " Receipt, 4th beth's Privy Council, Edinburgh, 2d June 

June 1596. A declaration sent with the 1596. State Papers, Scotland, Elizabeth, 

Scottish King's letter." Also Privy Council vol. lviii. No. 93. 
Records, 25th May 1596. 

VOL. I. 2 B 


hear the other party, and earnestly requests her to agree to the appointment 
of mutual commissioners to judge and settle the difference which had arisen : — 

Madame and dearest Sister, — In respect of the harde impression that ye 
haue conceaued concerning Bukcleuchis lait attempt at Carlile, I haue taikin occa- 
sion by these fewe lynis to praye you most hairtelie to consider aricht, and taik in 
goode pairt my ansoure thairin. And first I must praye you to considder that youre 
information proceidis from youre officiare, quho is not onlie partiall, but direct 
pairtie, in that maitter, quho alswell for the excuse of his owin sleuth at the tyme 
of the comitting of that deid, as of his former iniurie quhairupon the other did 
succeide, can not choose but agredge and agrauate that deid als farr as in him lyes ; 
but, Madam, I neid not to exhort a Prince of so long and happie experience in 
government as ye are, to stoppe the one ear quhill ye hear the other pairtie, and 
then, all passion being remouit, uislie and iustlie to iudge, for I ame fullie per- 
suadit that quhen ye shalbe richtlie informid of that iniurie quhich maide this 
other deid to foilowe, the proceiding shall (thoch not purge) yet quallifie verie 
muche the other, in your iuste censureing mynde. Alwaies quhat euir the quallitie 
be of that deid, my ansoure and requeste both is that ye will be content to appoint 
comissioneris on your pairt, as I shall be most reddie vpon myne, to trye alswell 
the turne itself as the occasion, quhairupon it did proceide, and to giue ordoure 
theirin according to the leagues of amitie and treaties of peax established betuixt 
us, quhiche I uow and promeisis upon my honour shall be fullie accomplished and 
putt in executioun on my pairt in that cais, for quho can be so fitt iudges of offen- 
ces fallen betuixt your subiectis and officeris and myne as comissioneris from us 
both, quho according to the lawis of neighbour head oucht to discerne amongst 
neighbouris, and quhair as it appeares ye are persuadit by sum to thinke that your 
harde usinge me in other maitteris will be a meane to procure youre satisfactioun 
in this turne att my handis, suirlie, Madame, as my conscience bearis me uitnesse 
that I neuir uilfullie offendit you in anye tyme past, so shall I neuer hearafter 
omitt anye pairt of constant and trew freindshipp towardis you, but I ame sure 
that ye will not loue [me] the uorse that as I ame otheruayes neere of bloode unto 
you, so to be youre cousin in that quallitie also to do tuice more for curtesie than 
harde usage, but tuiching that purpose I have spokin more at lenth to youre 
ambassadoure thairin; this tyme requyres greater dilligence in us both against the 
commoune enemie then to trouble our selfis with the base particulate querrellis 


and debatis betuixt oure subiectis, and thus praying you to taik iu goode pairt 
these homelie and rude lynis, I comitt you, Madame, and dearest sister, to the 
protection of the allmichtie, from my palleis of Linlithgow, the 4 of June 1596. 
Your most louing and affectionatt brother and cousin, 

James R. 
Addressed : To my dearest sister, the Quene of Englande. 1 

Bowes still persevered in demanding redress from the Scottish Court for 
the action at Carlisle. But he was much hindered by the absence of the 
King, who had departed from Holyroodhouse on the 18th June, to take his 
pastimes at hawking and hunting about Callander, Connyngshall, Stirling, 
and other places. Bowes resolved to follow the King in order to obtain an 
audience as speedily as possible. 2 

Meanwhile Queen Elizabeth determined to stop the yearly payment which 
she granted to King James in respect of his lands in England, until he should 
make the redress demanded against Buccleuch. The most of his eight new 
counsellors were of opinion that it would be less dishonour to the King and 
the kingdom were he to be driven from his throne than to be thus forced 
to disgrace himself for money ; he could not now deliver Buccleuch, since 
it would be reported that it had been done by force and for gain. The King 
was thrown into great perplexity. 

On learning that Queen Elizabeth, in retaliation for Buccleuch's action, 
intended to stay the payment of the annuity due to him, the King complained 
of the threatened injustice. In a letter to his ambassador, Mr. David Foulis, 
he urged that the annuity he received from Elizabeth was not a pension, but 
in satisfaction of his lands in England. 3 His remonstrance, however, had no 
effect on the Queen, who still adhered to her purpose of withholding the 
annuity until her demands were conceded. She wrote, however, to Bowes on 
25th July, requiring him to inform the King that though she had deferred, 

1 State Papers, Scotland, Elizabeth, vol. Edinburgh, 21st June 1596. State Papers, 
lviii. No. 95. Scotland, Elizabeth, vol. lviii. No. 105. 

3 Letter of King James. State Papers, 

2 Robeit Bowes to Lord Burghley, from Scotland, Elizabeth, vol. lviii. No. 112. 


she had not denied the money, although she could not recognise any right 
that he had to the annuity as due to him, insomuch as it had heen given as 
an expression of sincere good- will, and not by way of bargain or contract for 
anything due to him for any lands, as he affirmed. She adds : — 

" Where it pleaseth the king to throw upon us a straight obligation, because 
he had refused fair overtures from our foreign enemies, surely we may not seem 
so kind hearted as to make other construction of that than to give him the due 
praise of true providence and perfect judgment in being able to discerne how 
precipitate a council it had been for him to have abandoned God's cause, his own 
honour, and others assured friendship, either for fear to be conquered, or conceipt 
to be advanced by him whose end he knew could not be fulfilled but by the work 
of his subversion, whereof the precedents are infinite before his own eyes in many 
parts of Christendom. In lieu whereof, if we were purposed to fall into enumera- 
tion of the fruitful offices of our care and kindness, our actions even from his 
cradle during his nonage, and since his coming to his kingdom, have demonstra- 
tively showed how precious we have ever held his person and estate, and the free- 
dom of his Crown from other usurpation ; all which we speak not out of spirit of 
repentance as thinking it ill bestowed, but to deduce a true comparison (seeing he 
did call it in question) between our mutual proceedings, each to other, we having 
singularly borne the burden of both our common adversaries these many years, 
and specially of the enemies of God's Church in greatest proportion, without any 
support or aid of any prince or potentate living. Of this mucli our pleasure is 
that you shall inform the king, to the intent he may clearly perceive the affec- 
tions of our mind free from passion or partiality, unless it be passion to have 
sense of public wrong, and to take impression of unkind usage, when we have so 
well deserved the contrary ; wherein when we shall receive present redress for the 
world's satisfaction in this so extraordinary a crime, then shall none be more 
ready, in things doubtful, to be guided by the rules of equal and ordinary pro- 
ceeding by Commissioners, nor in any other good offices according to our custom." 1 

Eowes was admitted to an audience of the King at Dunfermline, when he 

delivered to him the Act of Queen Elizabeth's Council touching redress for 

the action of Buccleuch. Having read the Act of the English Council, King 

James declared that he himself, his nobility, council, and estate, by their 

1 State Papers, Scotland, Elizabeth, vol. Hi. p. 129, et seq. 


Act, had not refused to give redress or to fyle and deliver up Buccleuch for 
this fault ; that they had not approved of his justification of himself grounded 
upon former wrong alleged to have been done by Lord Scrope, and upon the 
considerate manner in which the attempt was executed, but they thought 
it meet that the cause should be examined and tried by Commissioners. 
Bowes replied that though the King and his council had not denied 
redress, or to fyle and deliver up Buccleuch, yet had dangerously delayed the 
administration of justice therein, and for the trial of the case had fallen into 
a course not warranted by any justice ; that the matter rested wholly with 
the King, whom the treaties between the two kingdoms empowered to be 
judge in the case, to fyle and deliver the offender upon the bill ... or other- 
wise if he refused justice, which her Majesty did not expect, but rather hoped 
that he would yield her seasonable redress, either by his own regal authority 
or with the advice of his council. 

King James strongly protested that he had not found one of the nobility, 
council, barons, burgesses, or ministry who would assent that Buccleuch 
should be fyled and delivered by him or his council, and that at the late 
convention they were so resolute that he with difficulty drew them to refer 
it to the trial of Commissioners, who, he thought, should best dispose of the 
cause for her Majesty's satisfaction. 

Queen Elizabeth continued to make strenuous efforts, both by private letters 
to the King and by the influence of her ambassador, to induce King James to 
deliver up Buccleuch. Determined not to be baffled, the queen again wrote to 
him, expressing her fixed decision not to refer Buccleuch's case to Commission- 
ers, and insisting on his being delivered up to her. The letter is as follows : — 

My deare Brother, — I am to speake with what argument my lettres should 
be fraught, since suche theames be giuen me, as I am lothe to finde, and am slow 
to recyte, yet since I neads must treat of, and vnwillinglie receaue, I cannot omytt 
to sett afore you a to rare example of a seduced king by evill informatioun. 
Was it ever seen that a prince from his cradle, preserued from the slaughter, held 
vp in royall dignitye, consented from many treasones, maintayned in all sortes of 


kyndnes, should remunerate with so hard mesure such deare deserts with doute 
to yeald a iust treaties responce to a lawfull frends demaunde. Ought it to be 
put to a question, whether a king should doe another his lyke a right 1 Or 
should a counsell be demaunded their good pleasure what he himself should doe 1 
Were it in the nonage of the prince, it might haue borne colour, but in a ffather 
age, it seemeth strange, and, I dare say, and without example. I am sorry for 
the cause that constraines this speach, espetially in so apert a matter, whose note 
goes farre, and is of that nature that it (I feare me) will more harme the wronger 
then the wronged, ffor howe little regarde soever be held of me, yet I shoulde 
greue to muche to see you neglect yourselfe, whose honour is toutched in suche 
degree as the Englishe, whose regarde I doubt not but you haue in some esteame 
for other good thoughts of you, will measure your loue by your deeds, not your 
words in your paper. Wherfore for fyne. Let this suffice you that I am as evill 
treated by my named frend as I could be by my knowen foe. Shall any castle or 
habytacle of myne be assayled by a night largin, and shall not my confederate 
send the offender to his due pvnisher 1 Shall a friende stycke at that demaunde 
that he ought rather to prevent 1 The lawe of kingly loue would haue sayd nay, 
and not for perswation of suche as never can nor will steed you, but dishonour you 
to keepe their owne rule, lay behind you the clue regard of me, and in it of your- 
selfe, who as longe as you vse this trade wilbe thought not of yourselfe ought, but 
with conventions, what they will, ffor Comissioners I will never grant for an Act 
that he cannot deny that made ; for what so the cause be made, noe cause should 
haue done that, and when you with a better weighed judgment shall consider, I 
am assured my answeare shalbe more honorable and iust, which I expect with 
more speede as well for you as for myselfe. ffor other douptfull and litigous 
causes in our borderis I wilbe ready to poynt commissioners, if I shall fynde them 
needfull, but for this matter of so vyllanous an vsage, assure you I will never be 
so answeared as heareis shall nead. In theis, and many other matters I require 
your trust to my Ambassador, who faithfully will returne them to me : Prayeing 
God for your safe keeping, 

Your faithfull and loving syster, 

Elizabeth, R. 
Indorsed : 24 Junij 1596. 

Copie of her Matz. Ire. to ye King of Scottz, of her owne hande. 1 
1 State Papers, Scotland, Elizabeth, vol. lviii. No. 108. 


Bowes had another interview with the King at Dunfermline, when he 
referred to her Majesty's letter, and moved him to have seasonable regard to 
the quenching of the flame that raged on the Borders through Buccleuch and 
others his subjects. The King much commended her Majesty's letter, but 
observed that there were in it some sharp expressions towards himself, as 
when her Majesty said that she was as evil treated by her named friend 
(which he interpreted to be himself) as she would be by her known foe. 
Against this he earnestly protested his readiness to give her Majesty good 
contentment, and promised to give, without delay, order to his officers of the 
Borders to stay the troubles there, which were daily increasing. He defended 
the act of the late convention touching redress demanded for Buccleuch's 
enterprise at Carlisle, and after many arguments in its defence, with profes- 
sions of his desire to please her Majesty, he said that he would write within 
two or three days an answer to her Majesty's letter, and frame and send his 
duply or rejoinder to the reply made by her Majesty's Council to their act of 
Council. He directed his Council to frame a " duply," and he himself drew 
up the letter to her Majesty. Both these he sent to Bowes, to be conveyed 
to Mr. David Fowlis, his ambassador at the English Court, in order to their 
being delivered to her Majesty. But as he disliked the draught of the 
despatch by the Council, and desired that his letter to her Majesty and the 
reply to the Lords of her Council should be sent together, he therefore called 
for redelivery of his letter to her Majesty, and in Bowes' hands. He was 
uncertain of the speedy receipt of these letters, though this had been 

Meanwhile Bowes debated the question touching Buccleuch severally with 
most of the King's Council, and with others of quality and well affected, 
maintaining the equity of her Majesty's demand, and declaring that the Lord 
Scrope's capture and detention of Kynmonth was left to ordinary trial, 
according to the treaties and before the act done by Buccleuch, and was 
justifiable by the laws of the Marches. Bowes argued that this matter ought 
not to be coupled with Buccleuch's outrage, either in course of time or yet by 


way of justification. He referred to the treaty of 24th December 1593, 
according to which, he asserted, Buccleuch's attack was punishable. The 
Scottish Council, on the other hand, alleged that Lord Scrope's act was open 
and manifest, and could not be justified, and that his doing wrong provoked 
Buccleuch to attempt that action. Bowes answered that this fact was not 
personally confessed by Buccleuch, but only expressed in the Act of Council 
by way of narrative of the action objected against him. In the same letter 
Bowes says : — " The whole estate here appeareth to me to be firmly bent 
against the delivery of Buccleuch before further trial of him and his fact, and 
of the Lord Scrope taking and detaining Kynmonth. Some of the Council 
persuaded the king to commit Buccleuch to ward, to be there further tried 
and in readiness to be chastised or freed, as his cause required, and that the 
king should entreat her Majesty to try likewise the cause of the Lord Scrope. 
But the means to effect this advice are much perverted, for Buccleuch hath 
given caution by the Laird of Balwery to be answerable, and is departed not 
like to return hither very hastily." 

Many in Scotland were afraid that the misunderstanding that had arisen 
between King James and his Council, and Queen Elizabeth and her Council, 
in consequence of Buccleuch's enterprise, might produce serious consequences 
to the interests of Protestantism in Scotland Boger Aston, in a letter to 
Sir Bobert Cecil, Principal Secretary to Queen Elizabeth, dated Edinburgh, 
28th July 1596, thus writes :— 

" There resteth something which I could not omit, and that is to see the 
extreme peril and danger which all good men think the religion and the amity to 
be in in respect of her Majesty's high displeasure against Buccleuch, wherein her 
Highness craves further than will be granted here, which fears the best affected 
will breed a further inconvenient. If this mischievous matter were put to some 
point, all other things would settle at an enstand, and her Majesty might look 
for a greater assurance of (K) and country then before ; and my reason is this — 
I know the (K) is well inclined to redress her Majesty, and it will be against his 
will if anything fall out but well. The country is in reasonable good obedience, 
and the laws better obeyed, and justice more severly put in execution than before. 


. . . For the Borders all the chief men have been here, and have yielded to that 
which before they would never grant unto, that is, to give a surety for their 
several friends and servants, in which number the whole Borders will be conted, 
so that all will be made answerable, if this matter of Buccleuch's were satisfied 
all other things would settle, and her Majesty might expect a greater suerty than 
before." 1 

King James, his Council, and the Committee of Estates, were not inclined 
to give Queen Elizabeth and her Council the satisfaction which they required. 
They were evidently strong in the opinion that the capture of Kinmont on 
the day of truce upon Scottish ground was, on the part of the Warden-deputy 
of England, a violation of the Border laws, which secured the safety of those 
who were attending on the day of truce ; and that Buccleuch had committed 
no crime in the liberation of Kinmont, who had been illegally captured. 
The King and his Council, therefore, notwithstanding the deep resentment of 
Queen Elizabeth and her Council, persisted in refusing, notwithstanding their 
persevering demands, to deliver up Buccleuch. It, indeed, appears, that 
rather than do this they were ready to risk a war with England. 

Bowes, at an audience with the King, at Dunfermline, on Sunday, the 8th 
of August, informed him of the contents of a letter from Queen Elizabeth to 
him (Bowes), and then showed to the King the letter itself. His Majesty 
entered into some arguments to prove that the trial of Buccleuch's act at 
Carlisle should be referred to the hearing and determination of commis- 
sioners. But finding by Bowes that Queen Elizabeth was utterly averse to 
such a trial by commissioners, he promised to advise with his Council how he 
might take such a course in this matter, and for the punishment of Buccleuch, 
as should give her Majesty full satisfaction, and should remove the cause of 
these great outrages on the Borders. The King referred to his having claimed 
the lands in England, of which his grandfather, the Earl of Lennox, died 
seized, and to her Majesty's having been pleased by Mr. Bandolph, then her 
Majesty's ambassador in Scotland, to gratify him with the grant of the yearly 

1 State Papers, Scotland, Elizabeth, vol. lix. No. 16. 
VOL. I. 2 C 


payment of a sum of money, which was confirmed by her Majesty's hand and 
seal. He trusted that her Majesty would continue to him this grant. 1 

Upon his return from Dunfermline, Bowes received Cecil's and several 
letters without date, together with a letter from Queen Elizabeth to King 
James, 2 which came in the packet of Mr. David Fowles, his ambassador 
at the English Court, and which Bowes sent with haste to the King. 
In this letter Queen Elizabeth would have him to understand that what- 
ever was the opinion of his Council, she would never consent to have the 
outrage committed by Buccleuch tried by Commissioners. To this kind of 
trial she was willing to submit the first taking of Kinmont, and divers 
other particulars in dispute between her and his Wardens. But as to the 
point which was of greatest moment, Buccleuch's outrage, redress behoved 
first to be given before she would submit to have even the capture of 
Kinmont tried in this way. 

The queen's letter is as follows : — 

" My DEARE Brother, — The more I see your lettres, reade your answere, and 
wey your resolucion, I euer rather impose the faulte of our Ambassadors neglecte, 
in not towtchinge the materiall groundeworke of this our vnkindnes, then caun 
ymagine that for your owne honor, though all respeete of vs weare debarde, you 
shoulde not waye soe the ballances awrye, as that a meane mans takinge whither 
right or wronge shoulde weye downe the poise, that our trecherous castles breache 
shoulde haue no right redresse. Neyther if you vnderstand it aright, can wee 
believe that if all the Councell of Scotland woulde tell it you, they might cause 
you be perswaded that Comissioners shoulde neede, or ought trye, whether anye 
subiecte of yours shoulde take oute of any our holdes a prisoner, however taken ; 
and therfore doe not beguile yourselfe, nor let them make you beleive that ever I 
will putt that to a triall as a matter doubtfull : But for the truthe to be knowne 
of the firste takinge of that sillye man, and diuerse other points fallen owte 
betuixte our Wardens, I agree verie willinglye to such an order. But let the 
matter of greateste momente, which is the malfacte of the larcine, be firste 

1 Letter of Bowes to Queen Elizabeth from a Letter of Sir Robert Bowes to Robert 

Edinburgh, 10th August 159G. State Papers, Cecil, Principal Secretary of State to Queen 
Scotland, Elizabeth, vol. lix. No. 24. Elizabeth, dated 10th August 1590. 


redressed, and if suche trecherye had bene comitted by a mann that eyther ought 
for deare afFeccioun wonn him by his demeritts, naye, if not by suche as whose 
deedes in publicke, what ever in private hath well shewed his smale regarde of 
your commaundis, I might haue borne with your partialitye ; but if you remember 
his former forgoinge deedes, as well in your realme as without, I shall neede the 
lesse to solicit my honor and his right. Wheare you yealde that if suche causes 
be not ever adiudged by such like manner of Comissioners you yealde to what 
censure of you that I shall chuse. I woulde lothlye take such advantage, ffor if 
you ever founde that it weare putt to tryall, whether suche a vyolente entry weare 
lawfull, or that the malefactor was not rendred, I will waye my creditt of that 
wager, and when you playnelye nowe do see my true meaninge of repayre of honor 
which soe lately hath bene blotted, and howe noe desire of quarrellinge for trifles, 
nor baekwardnes in faythfull affeccioun which you never shall finde to quaile, but 
by your owne deserte. I hope at lenth you will postpose your newe aduisers and 
remember her who never yet omytted anye parte that might concerne a most 
faythfull frendshippe love, and for such one houlde me still, that whatever she 
heares, yea by your owne, will never trust but you, as God best knowes, whom I 
beseche inspire you ever the beste." 1 

Queen Elizabeth, finding that her long expected satisfaction was not 
only still longer delayed, but that the proposed redress by Commissioners, 
ambassadors, or other means, was not forthcoming, and being further 
incensed by repeated inroads on the English Border, wrote to King James 
in March 1596-7: — "I must needs tell you that, without more excuses, 
deferrings, or lingerings, Buccleuch and Cessford must be rendered to my 
hands in my Borders, according as all right and reason requireth, and do 
trust that these were deferred to gratify me more by yourself than let alone 
to the Commissioners' charge. For God forbid that any so sinister counsel 
should be followed that might shake you with your best friend, and dis- 
honour you to the whole world that be spectators, both what princes do and 
what they suffer." 2 

The special negotiations regarding Buccleuch's attack on the castle of 

1 State Papers, Scotland, Elizabeth, vol. lii. p. 124. 2 Ibid. p. 159. 


Carlisle afterwards became complicated by other troubles on the Border, to 
be hereafter related. The sequel may be to some extent anticipated here. 
Buccleuch and Cessford, disregarding the proclamation by the Commissioners 
then sitting at Carlisle, made another inroad into EnglaDcl, devastating the 
country, and carrying away considerable spoil and a number of prisoners. 
They were tried by the Commissioners for this daring breach of order, and 
found guilty. As the peaceful relations between the two countries were now 
becoming endangered, and as it was seen that no other measure would avert 
the anger of Queen Elizabeth, it was decided that Buccleuch and Cessford 
should be warded in England. They appeared, accordingly, at Berwick for 
the purpose of delivering themselves up. Buccleuch chose for his guardian 
during his residence in England Sir William Selby, Master of the Ordnance 
at Berwick, into whose hands he surrendered himself. At this moment the 
incident of the firing of a pistol by one of Sir Bobert Kerr's retinue, and the 
cry of treason which was raised, threatened to create a tumult, both the 
English commissioners and Buccleuch being highly indignant ; but the 
excitement was quickly allayed by the interposition of the Lord Home with 
a party of Merse men to preserve order, and by Sir Bobert Kerr's immediate 
surrender of himself to be warded in England. He chose for his guardian 
Sir Bobert Carey, Warden -depute of the East Marches, notwithstanding 
various causes of animosity which existed between them. This magnanimous 
confidence was equalled by the generous hospitality of Carey, and a firm 
friendship was in consequence formed between them. 1 

Thus ended, after a lengthened negotiation of eighteen months, a dispute 
which had brought the two countries nearly to a collision. The tardy and 
tedious negotiations were a great contrast to the promptness of the rescue 
which gave rise to them. Buccleuch was treated with much hospitality in 
England, so much so that King James was apprehensive that he might 
become too favourably inclined towards that kingdom. George Nicolson, in 
a letter to Sir William Cecil, from Edinburgh, in February 1597-98, states 
1 Minstrelsy of the Scottish Borders, vol. i. p. 196. 



that the King suspected Buccleuch to be getting " too much Englified ;" and 
in a letter to Sir William Bowes, from Berwick, he mentions Buccleuch's 
thanks and protestations to her Majesty. 1 James Hudson, in a letter to Sir 
Robert Cecil, 17th April 1599, requests his intercession with her Majesty 
for a pass for Buccleuch. But he did not return to Scotland for a consider- 
able time after this, and in December of that year Hudson notices the joy of 
Buccleuch at the honour conferred on him by her Majesty. 2 On the 12th 
May 1599, he received from Queen Elizabeth a safe-conduct to pass abroad 
for the recovery of his health. 3 He was in Paris in March 1600, but returned 
to England, where he remained for some time. George Nicolson, in a letter 
to Sir Bobert Cecil on the 15th November 1600, mentions the King's anxiety 
for Buccleuch's return. 4 

Buccleuch, by his honourable, generous, and intrepid character, gained 
while in England the respect and esteem of the English, by whom he was 
honoured and hospitably entertained. Satchells thus writes : — 

" For banquets he had store, and that most free, 
Each day by some of their nobility : 
His attendance was by nobles there, 
As he had been a prince late come from afar : 
The north-country English could not be at rest, 
While the Scots Warden came to be their guest. 
Six weeks at Court continued he, 
Still feasted with their nobility : 
To the Queen's Majesty he made redress 
When she would be pleased he should go from hence : 
The queen was mute, and let the question slide, 
Yet wished that he might there abide." 5 

Buccleuch made a very favourable impression on Queen Elizabeth. 

4 Calendar of State Papers, Scotland, 
Elizabeth, vol. ii. p. 790, No. 97. 

1 Calendar of State Papers, Scotland, Queen 
Elizabeth, vol. ii. p. 747, No. 6 ; and p. 750, 
No. 27. 

- Ibid. p. 769, No. 61 ; and p. 779, No. S6. 

3 Buccleuch Charter-room. 

Satchells' History of the name of Scot, 


An old family tradition records that on his being presented to her, she 
demanded " how he dared to undertake an enterprise so desperate and 
presumptuous." " What is it," he replied, " what is it that a man dares 
not do ?" Impressed with the reply, Elizabeth, turning to a Lord-in- waiting, 
said : " With ten thousand such men our brother in Scotland might shake 
the firmest throne of Europe." 

Queen Elizabeth and her Government were not inclined to push to 
extremity the difference of opinion between them and the Scottish Govern- 
ment in regard to Buccleuch ; and from the favourable impression which he 
had produced when in England, the whole question between the two Govern- 
ments, arising from Buccleuch's enterprise, was now allowed to drop. Such 
is the manner in which Satchells represents the matter as having termi- 
nated, and his statement appears to be historically correct. The Queen thus 
addressed him : — 

" Ye shall be dispatch'd within a day or two, 
And a letter ye shall carry along with thee 
To our cousin of Scotland's Majestie, 
Wherein your heroic spirit we must commend, 
And intend hereafter to be your friend : 
Next day she call'd her secretar, 
And charg'd him a letter to prepare, 
To his Majesty's King of Scotland, 
Wherein she lets him understand 
She had past from her former wrong, 
By reason Buccleuch was a valiant man." 1 

The negotiations respecting the action of Buccleuch at Carlisle had been 
carried on for such a lengthened period that the settling of the Borders, and 
even the usual administration of justice by the respective Wardens, had been 
much hindered. While Buccleuch vindicated the course which he had followed 
in the liberation of Armstrong, and maintained the necessity for it, he was, 
according to the report of Bowes, the English Ambassador, desirous to 
1 Satchells' History of the name of Scot, p. 26. 



co-operate with the English Wardens for the preservation of peace on the 
Borders. Bowes, in a letter to Lord Burleigh, from Edinburgh, on 8th June 
1596, thus writes : — "Buccleuch, as I am informed, beholding now his own 
estate and case, is purposed by his letter to the Lord Eurye, or otherwise, to 
offer very frankly his concurrency for the administration of due justice for 
the peace on the Borders, as also his submission to her Majesty for his late 
fault, with protestation of all devotion and good offices to recover and retain 
her Majesty's good opinion and favour. I have been nice to hearken to any 
such offer without warrant and foreknowledge of her Majesty's pleasure 
therein. Further, Sir Eobert Ker, taking the like course, proffereth his 
service, as the Lord Eurye can, I trust, inform your Lordship. Buccleuch 
and Sir Eobert [Ker] so far quarrel, as it is looked to be drawn to single 
combat. They are of great forces on the Borders, and presently seek prefer- 
ment of her Majesty's good-will." 1 

Bowes again notices the growing exasperation of the quarrel between 
Buccleuch and Cessford in a letter of the 28th June, in which he states that 
the quarrel betwixt them " is likely to draw to single combat within short 
time ; and Cessford provoketh the other greatly to it, albeit they are both of 
great courage, and it is passed far in evil times betwixt them ; yet some of 
their friends attend on them to stay their hands." 2 About a fortnight after- 
wards he says that he had heard that young Cessford had challenged 
Buccleuch to mortal combat. 3 The King afterwards effected a reconciliation 
between them, but it was not permanent. 4 

King James and the Council having heard that Lord Eurie and Buccleuch 
had appointed a meeting to take place on the 16th of June, for the adminis- 
tration of justice, it gave them anxiety to learn that Buccleuch intended to be 
accompanied by a large body of armed followers, which it was apprehended 

1 Robert Bowes to Lord Burghley, 8th 3 Piobert Bowes to Lord BurgMey, 13th 
June 1596. State Papers, Scotland, Elizabeth, July 1596. Calendar of State Papers, Scot- 
vol. Iviii. No. 96. land, Elizabeth, vol. lix. No. 6. 

2 Ibid. 28th June 1596, vol. Iviii. No. i Ibid. vol. ii. p. 750, No. 28 ; and p. 762, 
111. No. 78. 


might disturb instead of promoting peace. Measures were accordingly taken 
by the Council, in concert with the English Ambassador,.to restrict the num- 
ber of the followers of the respective Wardens, so as to prevent a conflict. 1 

Meanwhile new troubles had arisen on the Borders. The feud between 
the Maxwells and the Johnstones, which had resulted in the death, in 1593, 
as already related, of Lord Maxwell, had again broken out. Sir James 
Johnstone of Dunskellie had been appointed, in April 1596, Warden of the 
Western Marches, in the room of William Maxwell, Lord Hemes, who had 
been deprived of that office. This appointment, as might have been antici- 
pated, only intensified the animosity between the two clans, and aggravated 
the confusion on the Borders. 2 Buccleuch had formerly taken part with the 
Johnstones ; but on this occasion he entered into an agreement with the 
Maxwells, and Johnstone sought to obtain from King James permission to 
join with the Laird of Cessford, and some of the English, against Buccleuch. 
But with this proposal the King was not disposed to comply. 3 With the 
advice of his Council, which met on 14th June 1596, he resolved to charge 
Lord Hemes, Buccleuch, Cessford, Fernihirst, and Johnstone, to appear with 
all expedition at Edinburgh, and upon their appearance to commit them to 
prison, until good order should be taken for quieting these troubles, and for 
the establishment of peace in all the Marches. 

Buccleuch and Johnstone appeared in answer to this summons, but none 
of the other Border chiefs. It was proposed that these two should be com- 
mitted to ward, according to the order enacted ; but by the exertions of the 
Master of Glammis, and other friends, it was decided that Buccleuch and 
Johnstone should not be retained, as none of the others had appeared in 
answer to the charge of the Council. The whole of the parties were again 
summoned to appear at Edinburgh, on which Bowes remarks that the 
summons " is like to be obeyed as the former was." 

1 Robert Bowes to Lord Burghley, 14th 
June 1596. Calendar of State Papers, Scot- 
land, Elizabeth, vol. lviii. No. 102. 

2 The Book of Carlaverock, by William 
Fraser, vol. i. p. 302. 

3 Bowes to Lord Burjjhley, vol. lviii. ~So. 105. 


This anticipation of the English Ambassador proved correct, and when 
the day arrived for which they had been cited, several of the principal 
Border chiefs did not appear. Not much hope now remained that the 
threatened outbreak on the Borders would be prevented. The Council 
decided to make choice of a Warden, who would be able to control the 
turbulent spirits on the Borders, and at the same time undertake the office 
with least charge to the king. Buccleuch and Johnstone were both named. 
But Buccleuch could not then be chosen while the Carlisle affair still 
remained unsettled. Johnstone offered to accept the office if caution were 
found by Lord Herries for such of his and Lord Maxwell's people as he 
would answer for, either in the Tolbooth of Edinburgh or Dumfries ; and 
such as Lord Herries would not answer for Johnstone offered to make 
answerable to justice. Lord Herries absolutely refused to take the office. 1 

From the want of any efficient control over the Borderers, and the still 
unsettled state of the dispute between King James and Queen Elizabeth, 
regarding Buccleuch, the Borders were thrown into a state of great confusion, 
and incursions were made by the English and Scots, which threatened to 
spread into the wider contest of a war between the two countries. Some of 
the English, headed by John Musgrave, son of Sir Simon Musgrave, and 
Captain Bobert Carvell, incensed at the impunity of Buccleuch for the 
attack on the castle of Carlisle, crossed the Borders and carried devastation 
into Liddesdale. Whilst the English were thus despoiling the Scottish 
Borders, " Kinmont Will" made a prisoner of Captain Thomas Musgrave, to 
the great delight of Buccleuch. An anonymous writer, in a letter written 
from Edinburgh, apparently to some of Queen Elizabeth's councillors, in July 
1596, states that Buccleuch had informed him of the capture of Musgrave, 
and said that he would cause that captain to be conveyed to Hawick under 
his custody, and that the Queen and Council of England should understand 
that he ought to be reputed a more lawful prisoner, who was taken reddiand 
stealing gear in Scotland, than Kynmont was in the day of truce, when 
1 Bowes to Lord Burghley, 18th July 1596. 

VOL. I. 2 D 


neither doing nor offering to do any injury whatever. The writer adds that 
Lord Home was solicited by Buccleuch to make a raid on the east Borders, 
his depute having recently fallen from his horse, and Sir John Ker of 
Hirsel, with many others, being wounded, and Hoppringill of Cadstreyne 
slain. Buccleuch promised to send a hundred men to the assistance of Lord 
Home, provided he would also send the same number when required. 1 

In retaliation for the depredations committed in Licldesdale, Buccleuch 
invaded the English Borders. He also wrote to the Council complaining of 
the depredations committed on his own lands and others in Liddesdale by 
John Musgrave and Captain Bobert Carvell. 

An attempt was at last made to repress the disturbances on the Borders ; 
and a meeting was arranged between Commissioners of Queen Elizabeth and 
King James, which took place at Carlisle, in March and April 1597, with 
the object of concluding a treaty in reference to the administration of justice 
on the Borders. But even while the Commissioners were sitting, and in 
spite of proclamations issued by the Governments of both England and Scot- 
land, Buccleuch and Cessford made another inroad into the neiohbourin" 
country. Buccleuch had purposed, in retaliation for the depreciations 
committed by Lord Scrope, to make an invasion into England. He was 
withheld for a time by his friends, who were anxious that he should make 
no attempt while the negotiations between the Commissioners were still 
proceeding. An anonymous letter, dated from Edinburgh, apparently to one 
of the English "Wardens, states: — " Buccleuch would have made a raid in 
your wardenry ere now, if he had not been advised by his friends at Court 
to attempt nothing during the remaining of the Commissioners together. I 
think evil to write the words he spake to myself within these eight days of 
your honour, they be so bad, and full of pride ; and therefore your honour 
had need with expedition to crave some assistance of the queen, to be in 
readiness to withstand his proud attempts that he means shortly to effect 
against your wardenry, having so great favour at the king's and queen's hand, 
1 State Papers, Scotland, Elizabeth, vol. lix. No. 18. 



especially as he makes bragges of not a little to his own glory, and will do 
more if the queen do not prevent him in time, and saith he hath more 
friends of late within your office than he had before." 1 

The friends of Buccleuch did not succeed in restraining his impatience to 
make another dash into England ; and before the Commissioners had con- 
cluded their negotiations, he made a hostile raid into Tynedale. Sir Eobert 
Kerr, younger of Cessford, Warden of the Middle Marches, acted in a similar 
manner, and advancing twenty miles into England, surprised a fortress and 
made the garrison prisoners. Buccleuch and Cessford on this occasion are 
charged with having caused great destruction of property, harrying the 
country on all sides with fire and sword, and carrying off a number of 

Sir William Bowes writes to the Bishop of Durham, on 20th April, that 
Buccleuch, " since the first meeting at Berwick, made two open day forays 
on the 10th and 11th April," killing the warden-sergeant and wounding 
several others. Besides carrying away much spoil on that occasion, he had 
on the 17th, "accompanied by troops of horsemen, made a day foray into 
Tynedale, and burnt their outsetts besides outhouses, burnt innocent creatures 
within their houses, and murdered to the number of twelve or fourteen pri- 
soners." 2 The bill against Buccleuch, on 21st April, charges him with having, 
with great troops of horsemen, " with trumpet and other warlike, invaded Tyne- 
dale, where practising all acts of hostility, namely, fire, sword, drowning, and 
spoiling, sparing neither age nor sex, he cruelly murdered and slew thirty-five 
of her Majesty's subjects, of which number some he cut in part with his own 
hand, some he burnt with fire, some he drowned in rivers, and wilfully and 
for destruction sake burnt and spoiled. He drove away the poor inhabitants 
by the terror of bis hostility, and taking the goods of the country, divided 
them amongst his soldiers by way of reward for their service. This cruel 
and odious act being accomplished with this circumstance, that it was done 

1 State Papers, Scotland, Elizabeth, vol. Ix. No. 
- Harleian MSS., vol. Sol. 



upon the holy Sabbath."' The bill goes on to state that "the very same 
persons have very nearly laid waste the countries of Tindale, Bewcastle, and 
Gillisland, having slain within these three years to the number of near one 
hundred persons. That Sir Walter Scott himself commanded these thieves and 
murderers in the slaughter, at several times, of twenty-four of her Majesty's 
subjects, of which number fifteen were the Queen's soldiers, slain at divers times 
and places." 2 Buccleuch's defence to this charge was that " sixty English- 
men had entered Liddesdale in the night and slain two men, and driven away 
great droves of sheep and cattle. Whereupon the fray arising and brought to 
Buccleuch, he, with sundry gentlemen dwelling near, followed the chase with 
the dogs, and finding the spoil divided, encountered the first he met, whom 
making resistance, he put to the sword. The other part was carried to sundry 
houses in Tindale, which being kept against him, though, as he protesteth, he 
offered them safety of life and goods if they would deliver the stolen goods. 
Upon their refusal so to do he forced his entry by firing the doors, by means 
of which fire the houses were burnt besides his purpose, together with the 
obstinate people refusing to yield and take his truth for their safety." 3 These 
people having been taken "red-hand," — possessing or driving the stolen 
goods, — Buccleuch could not on that account be accused of murder. 

The feud with the men of Tynedale had led to many raids from both sides 
of the Border, and on 2d July 1595, Carey, in a letter to Lord Burghley, 
endeavours to explain the origin of the quarrel : — " In your honour's letter 
you write in a postscript that you would gladly understande the quarrell 
that Buccleughe had against the Charletons, and that Sesforde had against 
the Stories, which would be too long and tedious to sett downe at large ; but 
for that your honour requyres yt, I will as breifly as I can sett it downe. 
First, the quarell Bucclughe hath to the Charletons is said to be this : Your 
honour knowes long synce you heard of a great rode that the Scottes, 
as Will Harkottes and his fellowes made uppon Tyndale and Pddsdale, 
wherein they took up the whole country, and did very near beggar them for 
1 Harleian MSS., vol. 851. 2 Ibid. 3 Ibid. 


ever. Bucclughe and the rest of the Scottes having made some bragges and 
crackes, as the country durst scarse take anything of theire owne ; but the 
Charletons being the sufficientest and ablest men uppon the Borders, did not 
only take theire owne goodes agayne, but also so hartned and perswaded 
theire neyghbors to take theires, and not to be afraide, which hath ever 
synce stuck in Bucclughe's stomach, and this is the quarell for taking theire 
own. Mary ! he makes another quarell that long synce, in a warr tynie, the 
Tyndale men should goe into hys countrye, and that they tooke away hys 
grandfather's sworde, and would never lett him have yt synce ; this sayth 
he is the quarell." 1 

Buccleuch and Cessford were both cited to appear before the English 
and Scots Wardens, but they refused to obey the summons. The Com- 
missioners for the Borders did not close their sittings till they had investi- 
gated the complaints brought against them, and found them guilty of 
what was laid to their charge. Robert Bowes, in a letter to Queen Elizabeth, 
11th May 1597, writes that before the receipt of her Majesty's letter to 
him of the 23d of April last, he was advertised that the Commissioners for 
the Borders had fully proceeded in all bills and complaints brought before 
them, that they had declared Buccleuch and young Cessford to be guilty 
in the offences objected against them, and that they had resolved to end 
their conferences. In consequence of this, Bowes was prevented from break- 
ing the treaty of these Commissioners, as Queen Elizabeth by letter directed 
him. He judged it best to endeavour to procure honourable redress for all 
former faults, with the quenching of these present troubles, and establish- 
ment of future peace and justice in the Marches. He stayed for and attended 
Sir William Bowes, that they might join iii their negotiations with the King 
for the advancement of these interests, and especially for the delivery of 
Buccleuch and young Cessford, who were now convicted, and whose delivery 
to her Majesty's officers they therefore demanded. 2 

1 Sir John Carey to Lord Bnrghley, 2d July 2 State Papers, Scotland, Elizabeth, vol. Ix. 

1595. No. (57. 


In an audience with King James, Bowes having reminded him that he had 
very lately, and since the execution of these intrigues, promoted young Cess- 
ford to be gentleman of his chamber, the King affirmed that he had granted 
that preferment to Cessford before the late offences had happened. 

Sir William Bowes received, 1st May 1597, a letter from Queen Elizabeth, 
dated 27th of April, empowering him to demand from King James, in her 
name, the delivery of Buccleuch and Sir Robert Kerr into her hands, in 
execution of the treaties between him and her Majesty. Bowes found that 
the Scots justified both these actions as lawfull " trodds," and affirmed that 
Queen Elizabeth's people last slain in Tynedale had been trespassers taken 
red-hand. Having received Queen Elizabeth's letter, Bowes and the others, 
by 4th of May, hastened the conclusion of the treaty, and he was accompanied 
by the Scottish Commissioners and their train till he was past the places of 
danger, where leaving them and finding other fit convoy, he arrived at Edin- 
bui'gh on 6th May, at four o'clock in the morning. Being admitted to 
audience with King James, he addressed him on the late attempts. The 
King answered in terms of vindication of the actions both of Cessford 
and Buccleuch. The act of Cessford, he said (except that it pleased the 
Queen of England to take it as highly offensive), was a matter little hurtful 
to any Englishman, inasmuch as without bloodshed or spoliation he only 
entered a house, taking thence his servant, a prisoner unlawfully detained, 
and retired to his charge without further attempt. The murders in which he 
was involved, as his Majesty was informed, were only the slaughter of 
thieves, who were Scottish fugitives. The last action of Buccleuch was the 
lawful pursuit of the thieves of Tynedale, who had been conducted to plunder 
in Liddesdale, by his own fugitives. The slaughter which Buccleuch there 
committed was only of thieves taken red- hand, which is accounted lawful on 
the Border, and long practised by both nations. So far as his Majesty could 
learn, had not Buccleuch forfeited his " trodd " by fire-raising (which, how- 
ever, he constantly affirmed had been done only to recover several parts of 
the stolen goods detained in those houses against him), he could not have 


been justly fyled in that bill, as he had simply endeavoured to recover 
lawfully goods lost under his charge. The only circumstance which made 
him guilty being fire-raising, this might more reasonably be recompensed 
with money than by a demand for the delivery of his person. He did not 
doubt but that his people received more hurt by two of Queen Elizabeth's 
officers, of as great place and authority as were Cessford and Buccleuch, 
namely, by Lord Scrope for the exceeding great spoil and murder perpetrated 
in Liddesdale, and by the Governor of Berwick for the slaughter of an honest 
gentleman, his subject, in his house at Wyde Open. 

Bowes replied that in the course of King James's reign, more than three 
hundred of the English had been horridly murdered by his subjects, without 
any redress; that recently his Keeper of Liddesdale had surprised the Castle of 
Carlisle, one of Queen Elizabeth's principal fortresses; his Warden of the 
Middle Marches had invaded and surprised another Castle far removed from 
the frontier; and lastly, his Keeper of Liddesdale had again made an invasion 
on the Borders of England, which deeply touched the honour of the Queen 
of England. The Commissioners, said Bowes, had fyled Sir Bobert Kerr of 
murder, and Sir Bobert besides stood charged with the slaughter of fourteen of 
Queen Elizabeth's soldiers while defending the English Borders under their 
captain, a matter quite notorious, as having been done by an invasion of more 
than two thousand men. The act of Buccleuch had been too favourably 
excused to his Majesty under the name of a lawful trode, inasmuch as he dis- 
regarded the essential conditions which by the treaties made any trode lawful, 
for he entered Tynedale with upwards of one hundred men, murdered many 
guiltless persons, who had not meddled with his goods, from pure pride and 
revenge, as might appear by his answer to the Commissioners in writing to the 
allegation against him made on Queen Elizabeth's behalf, in which, among 
other things, he acknowledged his feud with her subjects of Tynedale, which 
he had at other times shown by the slaughter which he had perpetrated at 
his entry thither lately before this act, for no other purpose than to kill 
seven of them in the night-time in their beds, so as both by forfeiture and 


murdering the innocent, the bill against him stood fyled justly, as though he 
had no trode at all. In regard to complaints against Lord Scrope and the 
Governor of Berwick, Bowes said that these cases had at several times been 
earnestly insisted upon by his Majesty's Commissioners, and .that, finally, 
after exact trial, they were cleared in such sort that they could not lawfully 
be brought again in question, 

The King again assured Bowes that he would not deny justice. What- 
ever his Commissioners had concluded he would see performed ; and he 
prayed him to have patience until his return from Dundee ; until Cessford 
and Buccleuch came hither, whose appearance he would not fail to procure 
before that time ; and until his Commissioners' conference with Bowes in the 
meantime, as to which he would give instructions before his departure. 1 

The King having returned from Dundee to Holyroodhouse on Thursday, 
19th May, Sir William and Sir Robert Bowes obtained an audience with his 
Majesty, in presence of his councillors, on the evening of the following day, 
for three hours. They again demanded that Buccleuch and Sir Robert Kerr 
should be delivered to Queen Elizabeth. They argued (1.) from the league 
made at Berwick in 1586, offensive and defensive against all invaders, 
that though foreign invasions might be principally understood, yet in 
equity it could not but imply much more that princes themselves, or the 
Wardens, should not invade ; (2.) The treaty of peace with Queen Elizabeth, 
Act 14, in which were these words : — " If any person of either realm shall 
come within the other to make shout, or raise fray, bear armour, or with 
force raise any impediment to the Warden of that realm in execution of his 
office, the person so doing shall be reputed a public offender against the treat}- 
of peace, so that if he shall happen to be slain, hurt, or apprehended by the 
Warden of that realm, he shall be used as a subject of that realm where he 
committed the offence without any challenge or claim of the prince or officer 
of the country from whence he came ; and if it shall happen the said offender 

1 Sir William Bowes to Queen Elizabeth, 11th May 1597. State Papers, Scotland, Eliza- 
beth, vol. lx. No. 66. 


to return to his own country after the committing of the said offence, it shall 
be lawful for the Warden offended to bill for him, and being found foul of the 
crime, to be delivered to the Warden offended, to be punished by him at his 
discretion, and as a subject of the realm where he offended." The acts of 
Buccleuch and Cessford, said Sir William and Sir Robert Bowes, were directly 
against the treaty, and it therefore followed that by virtue thereof both of 
them ought to be delivered. " All which," say they, " and many other 
reasons by us alleged, how true and forcible soever, could prevail nothing, 
but that they, having set down a resolution not to deliver them, interpreted 
the law to their own purpose, extenuated the facts, and directly concluded 
that the punishment was to be referred to the King himself for final answer, 
whereunto we delivered this speech, viz. : That, seeing treaties and commis- 
sions concurred in one express law appointing the delivery ; seeing the fact 
expressly convicted by the said commission ; lastly, seeing her Majesty had 
by her ambassador expressly sent, demanded performance, agreeably to the 
direct course of justice, it must be manifest to the world that not only the 
direct denial, but the very forbearance of delivery, did break the leagues, 
treaties, and promises aforesaid, and that the King keeping the said offenders 
in his grace and protection, could not but in their persons protect their faults, 
and thereby involve himself in their guiltiness, leaving the Queen to have 
her remedy by justice of another nature." These words were understood as 
a threatening. 

On 26th May, Sir William and Sir Kobert Bowes had another audience 
with the King, and used many reasons to fortify their demand for the delivery 
of Cessford and Buccleuch into the hands of Queen Elizabeth. " The sixth 
argument was drawn from the persons of the two trespassers demanded. 
They had lately made three notable invasions, and stood guilty of fifty-seven 
murders within the ground of England. They had besides showed so high 
contempt as well against the proclamations as against sundry the Com- 
missioners, and instead of being guardians of the peace they had of late years 
continually practised all sort of hostilities, not only in their own persons, but 

vol,, i. 2 E 


also by their servants and followers, who have slain and spoiled multitudes 
of the queen's people." The representatives of King James at the late con- 
vention, as the King stated in reply, and generally all the wisest of his people 
with whom he had conference, concurred in affirming that it was greatly 
dishonourable, both to himself and his realm, that he should deliver so great 
officers and persons of such worth from under his own punishment to be 
executed in a foreign country. He earnestly entreated that his good sister 
would be content that he should punish his Wardens himself, and said that 
he would send an ambassador expressly to her for that end. 1 

This unsatisfactory result of the demand of Queen Elizabeth's ambassa- 
dors for the delivery of Cessford and Buccleuch into her hands, deeply 
incensed her Majesty. In a letter to Sir William Bowes and Mr. Robert 
Bowes, marked on the margin 7th June 1597, she writes : — "We have per- 
ceived by your letter of the 30th of May how far you two have proceeded in 
all things committed to your charge, and what hath been the success of all 
your dealings, both with the king and council." Here she added on the 
margin with her own hand : " I wonder how base-minded that king thinks 
me, that with patience I can digest this dishonourable dealing. Let him 
therefore know that I will have better satisfaction, or else," etc. The letter 
further proceeds : — 

" Having nothing, therefore, now for the justness of our demands by you to say 
other than the arguments which you have used already, nor meaning to depend in 
this case for Carr and Scott's delivery upon further deputations, we do require 
you to declare to the king that we had little looked for this manner of proceed- 
ing, whereby the world should see how long we have been only fed with words 
and protestations without effects, thereby to witness to all men how much we are 
neglected, and how ill we are requited for being always so slow to give any cause 
of misunderstanding between our brother and us, by using any extraordinary 
means to correct his lewd and insolent subjects ; and when we see what labour 
there hath been to avoid the delivery for those crimes which they have publicly 

1 Robert and Sir William Bowes to Cecil, Edinburgh, 30th May 1597 
land, Elizabeth, vol. Ix. No. 79. 

State Papers, Scot- 


committed, by alleging that some of their acts were not subject to this treaty, 
with divers other like cavillations upon points of law and other quiddities only to 
spend time." 1 

Meanwhile Euccleuch was committed prisoner to the Castle of Edinburgh 
by the command of the King, against the will of the whole Council. He had 
been appointed to present his pledges, and having brought only four instead 
of six, and desired to have time granted him to bring in the rest, and to give 
security for the performance, this was refused, and he was made a prisoner 
till he delivered all the pledges. Euccleuch suspected that his secret enemies 
at Court were at the bottom of this, especially Sir Eobert Kerr. Under 
these circumstances Euccleuch, by a secret friend, desired Aston to interpose 
on his behalf with the Government of Queen Elizabeth. Could he obtain 
security for his life, he would engage to give her Majesty such satisfaction as 
she should think convenient, and to make full redress for all the attempts he 
had committed, and to give assurance for his behaviour in time to come. 
. . . Should he receive from Aston adequate assurance of his life, he would 
cast himself into her Majesty's hands to dispose of him as she pleased. 
Aston, who strongly recommended the case of Euccleuch to the favourable 
consideration of the English Government, thus writes on his behalf : — " For 
the man his faults have been odious to her Majesty in that he did at Carlisle, 
as also for the continual oppressing of her subjects, for the which her Majesty 
ought to be repaired, as no doubt she will, whether by hostility or by sub- 
mission and redress. ... As to Euccleuch, her Majesty shall be repaired 
in honour, for he shall enter without condition and submit himself in her 
Majesty's will, and thereby her Majesty shall breed peace and rest to her 
oppressed people in these parts, for there is not one in all these parts that 
dare stere if he command the contrary. He is counted here very constant of 
his promis either for good or evil. He hath many friends, and that of the 
best sort. I know there is great ones here if they see him in any danger 
would hazard their lives, and all the house where he is kept are his chiefest 
1 State Papers, Scotland, Elizabeth, vol. Hi. p. 17S. 


friends. If he fired himself I dare undertake they would let him escape 
when he pleases. He is purposed to remain and not to provide the pledges 
till he hear what answer I receive. If he find any assurances for his life, he 
will enter himself, otherwayes he will prepare and enter the pledges, and so 
set himself at liberty. If it shall please her Majesty to accept of this, I shall 
come with him and engage my life for that he shall promise." 1 

To terminate the differences caused by Buccleuch and Sir Eobert Kerr 
between the English and Scottish Governments, it was arranged by the 
Commissioners of both nations at Berwick that delinquents on both sides 
should be delivered up, and that the chiefs should enter into ward in the 
opposite countries till they were surrendered, and pledges given for the future 
tranquillity of the Borders. To this arrangement both Buccleuch and Sir 
Robert Kerr were wholly opposed, and it required all the authority of King- 
James to bring them to a compliance. 2 

Though, in July 1597, King James imprisoned Buccleuch for not having 
delivered his pledges, he soon after secretly released him in order to his 
going to seek them ; and Buccleuch again returned and re-entered into ward. 
In August, Buccleuch was set at liberty, and also the pledges on caution ; and 
the King declared that he would deliver the pledges according to treaty. 

In September the correspondence between the Scottish and the English 
Courts related to the delivery of Buccleuch's pledges. King James, in a 
letter to [Mr. Bowes ?] from Linlithgow, 5th October 1597, informs him of his 
intention to pass to Buccleuch's bounds on the 10th instant to see to the deli- 
very of his pledges, and he begs that her Majesty would send down a lieutenant 
or some special man to " hold hand " to him, and assist in the same. 3 

The result of these protracted negotiations has been already related in 
the preceding part of this memoir. King James and the Council did their 

1 Roger Aston to Sir Eobert Cecil, 21st woode's History, p. 448. Carey's Memoirs, 

July 1597. State Papers, Scotland, Eliza- p. 131. 
beth, vol. lxi. No. 16. 3 Calendar of State Papers, Scotland, Eliza- 

- Rymer's Fcedera, vol. xvi. p. 322. Spottis- beth, vol. ii. p. 742, No. 42. 

STATE OF THE BORDERS, 1 575-1 GO 3. 221 

utmost to evade the demands of Queen Elizabeth, but nothing would appease 
her except the surrender of Buccleueh. He accordingly passed into an 
honourable captivity in England, where, as before stated, he was treated in 
the most hospitable manner, both by the nobles and the queen herself. 

Continued efforts were made during the life of Buccleueh to regulate 
the inhabitants of the West and Middle Marches, with varying success. 
In 1578, Lord Maxwell, Warden of the West Marches, presented to the Privy 
Council a roll of names of the disobedient within his wardenry, amounting 
to six hundred. A considerable number were interned in strongholds 
throughout the country, but so many of them made their escape to the 
Borders as to arouse a suspicion that they were not very strictly guarded, 
and that their keepers were not sorry to be rid of them. 1 

The feuds between the various clans contributed to the perpetuation of 
the disorders. Certain tenants and servants of John Lord Maxwell, Earl of 
Morton, having been cited before Johnstone of Dunskellie, the Warden of 
the West Marches, refused to appear, assured no doubt of the protection of 
their chief, who was then at feud with the Johnstones. On account of the 
feuds between the men of Teviotdale and Liddesdale, the inhabitants of 
Liddesdale and neighbourhood were forbidden to attend the market at 
Jedburgh to transact business. 

A manuscript, addressed to Lord Burghley in 1590, gives a description of 
the Middle and West Marches of England and Scotland, together with an 
account of the various surnames and general character of the inhabitants. 
It is there stated that " The governaunce of Scotland most offensive to England 
lyeth in two wards, in Annerdale and Lyddesdale. The country of Anner- 

1 The pledges in the year 15S0, consisting Adam Gordon of Auchindoun, Alexander 
principally of Armstrongs and Elliots, were Ogilvie of Boyne, David Barclay of Cullernay, 
distributed with Esme, Earl of Lennox, Cap- George Ramsay of Dalhousie, William Lord 
tain of Dumbarton, Alexander Erskine of Hay of Yester, Alexander Inglis of Tarbert. 
Gogar, Captain of Edinburgh Castle, Malcolm Many complaints were made by those bur- 
Douglas of Mains, Captain of Blackness, dened with the keeping of the pledges, who 
■James Betonn of Creich, Captain of Falkland were in consequence chiefly imprisoned in the 
Castle, the Provost and Bailies of Edinburgh, royal castles. 


dale is strong by their great and many surnames, as Maxwells, Johnstones, 
Armestronges, Irwaynes, Bells, and Caiiells. Every which severall surname 
defend their owne. Lyddesdale is the most offensive country against the West 
and Middle Marches. It is governed by a keeper who lyeth in Armetage, the 
chief strength of Lyddesdale. The strength of the country consisteth in two 
surnames, of Armestronges and Elwoods. These people ride most into 
Gillesland, Aston-more, and Northumberland. Behind Lyddesdale lyeth 
Tyvidale, which doth never offend the west Border. Behind Annerdale 
lyeth Ewsdale, who are a civil people, and never ryde in England.'" 1 

The Borderers had become so fierce and lawless, that they were dreaded 
by the more peaceful of their own countrymen. When King James the 
Sixth was, or professed to be, much incensed on account of a tumult in 
Edinburgh in December 1596, a report was circulated that he intended, for 
the punishment of the citizens, to let loose upon them Will Kinmont and 
his Borderers. The expected inroad created great consternation among the 
merchants and other citizens of Edinburgh, and their condition is thus de- 
scribed by Birrel, a contemporary annalist and citizen of the town : — " Upon 
the morn, at this time, and befoir this day, thair was ane grate rumour and 
word among the townesmen, that the Kinges Majestie sould send in Will 
Kinmond, the common thieffe, and so many southland men as would spulye 
the toun of Edinburgh. Upon the whilk, the haill merchants tuik thair haill 
gear out of thair buiths or chops, and transportit the same to the strongest 
hous that wes in the toune, and remained in the said hous than with thame 
selfis, thair servants, and luiking for nothing bot that thai sould have been 
all spulyeit. Sic lyke the haill craftsmen and comons convenit themselfis, 
thair best guidis, as it were ten or twelve householders in ane, whilk was the 
strongest hous, and might be best kepit from spuilyeing or burning, with 
hagbut, pistolet, and other sic armour as might best defend themselfis. 
Judge, gentill reader, giff this was playing." 

Frequent complaints were also made of the depredations committed in 
1 Archteologia, vol. xxii., published by the Society of Antiquaries, London, 1S29. 

STATE OF THE BORDERS, 1575-1603. 223 

the deer forests of Meggotland and Eskdale, where the deer were not only 
daily slain by Scotsmen using guns, but by Englishmen brought in by Scots- 
men, without liberty from the King or his wardens. 1 

The Eegent Morton, with a large following, made an expedition to the 
Borders in 1575, and again in February 1577-8 he ordered a levy on purpose 
to proceed against the Borderers, but his fall from the regency, which took 
place immediately afterwards, prevented the second expedition from being 
put into execution. 

In the year 1580, the King and council, considering the "great skaith and 
detriment which the true subjects of the realm " dwelling near the Borders 
suffered by " open reiff, theft, and oppression of the rebellious and dis- 
obedient persons inhabiting the Borders," who besides their ordinary crimes 
" daily hurt and slew the true lieges in defence of their goods, so that much 
profitable land was lying waste, and many householders forced to leave their 
houses, to the great hurt of the common weill of the realm:" seeing that 
these " rebels were overlooked and winked at" by those who dwelt nearest 
to them, his Majesty was compelled to use force to reduce them to obedience. 
Proclamation was made at Dumfries, Kirkcudbright, Wigton, Lanark, Peebles, 
and other places, commanding the lieges to meet Colin, Earl of Argyll, 
Justice-General and Lieutenant of the West Marches. Argyll, on that 
occasion, burned a number of their houses, but the marauders succeeded in 
escaping to a place of safety. 2 

An Act was passed in the Parliament held on 8th July 1587, for the 
quieting and keeping in obedience of the disordered subjects, inhabitants of 
the Borders and Highlands, which contained some stringent provisions. It 
was enacted "that all such notorious thieves as were born in Liddisdail, 
Eskdaill, Ewesdaill, Annerdaill, and the lands sometime called Dibetable, or 
the lands of the Highland, that have long continued inobedient, shall fee 
removed out of the inland where they are planted and presently dwell or 
haunt, or the parts where they were born, except the landlords where they 
1 Privy Council Records, 1576-1579. " Ibid. September 15S0. 


presently dwell will become sureties for them." A register was also ordered 
to be kept of all these unruly districts, containing the names of all the male 
inhabitants above the age of sixteen. Marriage with any Englishwoman 
dwelling in the Marches, without his Majesty's licence, obtained under the 
Great Seal, was forbidden under the penalty of death, and the confiscation 
of all moveable property. The pledges received for the good rule of the 
Borders were to be placed on the north of the Forth, and those from the 
Highlands on the south of that river. Provision was also made for the 
punishment, by banishment and confiscation, of all "medit persons" who 
assisted in the disposal of the stolen property, without whose assistance the 
depredations would not have assumed such proportions. 1 

However stringent were the orders issued by the Council and the Estates, 
they were quite ineffective in producing any good result so long as the two 
countries were disunited, and these depredations were only effectually stopped 
after the union of the Crowns. As the time approached when the two 
countries so long at variance were to become united, the Borderers seem to 
have become if possible more daring, in some cases penetrating into England 
as far as seventy miles, despoiling houses and carrying off large booty. 2 

Sir "William Bowes, writing from Berwick on 31st January 1596, men- 
tions that Buccleuch, as responsible for those under his charge, would " be 
found guilty of murders about twenty," some of which he had been present 
at and committed with his own hands, " his followers of Liddisdale, specialty 
the Armstrongs and Elliots, his servants dwelling in Liddesdale, now his 
inheritance, hath slain many, and hath also been partakers with their 
commander in the murders mentioned." 

Bowes also gives an estimate of the amount of damage sustained by the 
English at the hands of the Scottish Borderers of the three Marches, between 
the years 1587 and 1596, which gives an idea of the extent of the depreda- 
tions committed at that time. " The value of the injury," he writes, " com- 

1 Acts of the Parliaments, vol. iii. p. 461. 

2 Cottonian MSS. Caligula, D 1 1, No. 238. 

Sir William Bowes to Lord Burghley, 29th 
November 1595. 


mitted by the Scots hitherto, appearing in the three Marches, since the late 
commission by Lord Hunsdon in anno 1587, amounts to : — 

In the East Marches, . . . £10,458 17 8 

Middle do., . . . 28,098 8 5 

West do., . . . 54,442 

All amounting to . . . . £92,899 6 1 

Of which whole sum the two Tevidales under Sir Robert Carr, and Liddesdale 
under Buccleuch, are charged with near three parts." 

He also mentions that a demand had been made on the part of Queen 
Elizabeth that she might have delivered into her hands the principal men of 
the surnames of Youngs, Brownes, Armstrongs, and Elliots, in order that 
they might be dealt with according to the laws of the country in which the 
crimes were committed, intending to execute four or five of them by secret 
arrangement with the King of Scotland, on the understanding that none 
should be executed except those who had slain more than three. This pro- 
ceeding, it was urged, would produce a salutary impression on those who 
remained, who might be retained as pledges and hostages for the good 
behaviour of the rest. 1 

The English Warden appears to have taken the punishment of Liddes- 
dale into his own hand, as a complaint was lodged with the Commissioners 
of the Borders of England, charging Lord Scrope, Warden of the West 
Marches, "that in the beginning of August (1596) he sent two thousand 
men, most of them the Queen's soldiers, under his command, to invade 
Liddesdale, where they raised fire and burned twenty-four outsetts of 
houses, spoiled and carried away the whole goods within four miles of 

1 Harleian MSS., vol. 851. The surnames Glendonigis,Carutheris,.Johnestonis, Jardanis, 

of " wicket thieves, oppressors, and peace- Moffettis, Latimeris, and others inhabiting 

breakers and resettaris of theft " given about the Borders foiranent England, in the Sheriff- 

this time are " Armstrongis, Elliottis, Nick- domes of Roxburgh, Selkirk, Peebles, Dum- 

sonis, Crozaris, Grahamis, Irvingis, Bellis, fries, and Stewartrie of Annerdaill." (Act of 

Carleillis, Batisonis, Littilis, Thomesonis, Parliament, 8th June 1594, vol. iv. pp. 71, 72.) 
VOL. I. 2 F 


ground, the men they apprehended, and coupled two and two in a leash 
like dogs, and the women and children three or four score stripped of their 
clothes and sarks, leaving them naked in that sort exposed to the injuries of 
time and weather, by which ten infants perished." 1 These severe measures 
were taken by command of the Queen of England ; Lord Scrope privately 
informed Sir William Bowes that as he could get no redress for the damage 
done in his wardenry by the men of Liddesdale, her Highness had granted 
him letters under her own hand authorising him to take reprisals. 2 

The last great Border raid took place in March 1603, only a few days 
before King James the Sixth arrived at Berwick on his way to London. On 
the day after his arrival there, the news was brought that an expedition of 
two or three hundred persons had set out from the West Marches, and pene- 
trating as far as Penrith, committed great havoc, and carried off a large 
quantity of spoil. In a manuscript of the time, preserved in the Becord 
Office, a list is given of a hundred and thirty complaints lodged against 
the Armstrongs and other clans, for attempts made from 27th March to 8th 
April 1603. The estimate of the entire bills is given as follows : — 
Men killed, '. . . . 6 

Prisoners, . . . .14 

1280 oxen, kine, and young nowte, .... £280 3 

67 horses and mares, . . . . . 390 

3807 sheep, goat, and lambs, ..... 1380 

Burning, spoils, insight implements, household 
stuffs, gold, money, plate, jewels, evidences, 
bills, and writings, ..... 6750 

Total as given in MS., 4 . . . £10,600 

In this war of reprisals, in which the Borderers of England and Scotland 

1 Harleian MSS., vol. 464S. 3 Evidently meant for £2080, which agrees 

with the sum-total. 
- Harleian MSS., vol. 851. Bowes to the 4 MS. Laws of the Marches, by Richard Bell, 

Lord Treasurer, 6th February 1596-97. Warden Clerk of the West Marches, vol. ii. 


seem equally blameable, the Liddesdale and Teviotdale men appear in the 
end to have been the most successful in the result of their inroads. In the 
letter already quoted, Sir William Bowes informs Lord Burghley that the 
English had been reduced so far " that they had not one man and horse for 
four of their opposite neighbours of Liddesdale, East and West Teviotdale." 1 

On the return of Buccleuch from France, he was reappointed, as already 
stated, in 1594, Keeper of Liddesdale, and also received a charter of the lands 
and lordship of Liddesdale in the same year. He had formerly compromised 
himself by rendering assistance to Francis Stuart, Earl of Bothwell, and 
suffered a temporary banishment from his native country on that account, but 
afterwards withdrew his support from the mad schemes of that nobleman. 
Shortly after his appointment as Keeper of Liddesdale, he caused the 
Armstrongs and other chief men of the district to meet him at the Hermit- 
age, and " told them plainly that if any of them dealt anyway with Bothwell, 
that he would hang them." 2 He proceeded to deal severely with those who 
resisted his authority, and burnt several houses in Ewesdale belonging to the 
Armstrongs, who took refuge with the Grahames in England, 3 and with their 
assistance carried off a number of horses from Buccleuch and his friends in 
Liddesdale. It is needless to remark, after the description which has been 
given of those under the charge of Buccleuch, that his office must have been one 
of great difficulty : Satchells says of the Armstrongs, that they were "very ill to 
tame." Lord Scrope reports that he had learnt that "Liddesdale, with one vow, 
had given answer to the Lord of Buccleuch at the Hermitage, and declared that 
they had committed such faults that they were unable to satisfy, and would 
not therefore put themselves to the hazard to answer at Berwick, but stand 
upon their own guard, and take the advantage of that which should follow." 4 

Some of the principal Armstrongs and Elliots did, however, give their 

1 Bowes to Burghley, 29th November 1595. 3 State Papers, Scotland, Elizabeth, vol. liv. 

2 State Papers, Scotland, Elizabeth, vol. liv. No. 89. 

No. 71. George Nicolson to Mr. Robert Bowes, 4 Harleian MSS., vol. 4648. Sir William 

24th October 1594. Bowes to Robert Bowes, 6th February 1596-97. 


promise to Buccleuch to enter themselves as pledges, but failed to keep faith 
with him, at which conduct he was highly indignant. Sir William Bowes 
considered this quarrel of much importance, and taking advantage of the dis- 
pleasure of Buccleuch, induced him to restrain all his friends while the 
English Warden attacked the Armstrongs and Elliots. The plot was dis- 
covered, but not before considerable damage had been done to the men of 
Liddesdale, three of them being slain and two hundred cattle carried off. 
" This act," says Bowes, " hath caused an implacable displeasure between 
Buccleuch's friends by him assured, and the outlaws that suffered the dam- 
age, which, if it might be now seconded by my brother's holding hard afresh 
to Buccleuch, and that they get no receipt in the West March of England, 
Liddesdale would be made hereafter easey to deal withall, and Buccleuch 
himself stand such to the favour of England, as he should become a much 
better neighbour than he hath been." ' 

The departure of Buccleuch for England interfered with any measures 
which he intended to enforce in order to curb the restless and turbulent 
inhabitants of Liddesdale. But while still residing in England he continued 
to exercise, by deputy, his office of Keeper of Liddesdale, which he had been 
desirous of resigning, but was induced by his friends to retain. He also 
obtained a bond, dated 30th September 1599, from Simon Armstrong of 
Mangertoun, Lancie Armstrong, elder of Quhithauch, young Lancie Arm- 
strong, son to Sym of Quhithauch, John Armstrong of Tyneisburne, alias 
Laird's Jok, and Mnian Armstrong of Tueden, or of the Maynis, whereby, 
in consideration of his having become bound and found caution that the 
whole inhabitants of Liddesdale should be answerable to the King and his 
laws, and willing that he should incur no skaith or damage, they bound 
themselves, their men, tenants, and servants, to be answerable to Buccleuch 
when called by him, his deputies, or officers whomsoever, respecting any 
complaint from England or from the King, his Council or his Justices, and 
to present themselves or such of their foresaids as should be complained 
1 Harleiau MSS., vol. Sol. Sir William Bowes to the Secretary, 15th February 1597-98. 


upon before the Laird's Court, when called upon to do so. 1 He received a 
bond to the same effect, of the same date, from Eobert Elliot of Eedheuch 
and others of the name of Elliot. 3 

During the absence of Buccleuch he made resignation of the whole of his 
lands, by his procurators, into the hands of King James the Sixth, at 
Falkland, on the 16th August 1599, for a regrant and new infeftment. With 
the same object the tenandry of Catslack, etc., formerly held by Buccleuch 
from William, Earl of Angus, were resigned by the Earl into the hands of 
the King. Following on the resignation a new charter was granted, con- 
taining a new erection of the barony of Branxholm, including recently 
acquired lands, with the exception of the lordship of Liddesdale and the 
other Bothwell estates. The charter narrates that it was granted as a recom- 
pence and reward to Buccleuch and his predecessors, who had been ancient 
and kindly tenants of the King and his predecessors in the lands of Fast- 
haugh, Huntlie, etc., in the shire of Selkirk ; also, for sundry large sums of 
money and composition paid by Buccleuch to the King's treasurer ; and 
for the manifold, famous, and singular services, acts, achievements, and 
exploits done by him to the honour, fame, and great commendation of the 
King and his realm, as well in his private affairs as in those pertaining to 
the commonwealth. The King also granted the rights of ward and non- 
entry, relief and marriage, to the heirs and successors of Buccleuch. 

The lands and lordships thus united and incorporated into the new free 
barony of Branxholm were those of Branxholm, Ekfurd, Buccleuch, Lang- 
toun, Quhitchester, Lempetlaw, Bankilburne, Eilrig, Kirkurd, Greenwood, 
Lyne, Porterlands, Falsyde, Hatherne, Deloraine, Wardishop, Aldishop, Eldins- 
hop, Fastheuch, Huntlie, Carterhauch, Auldwark or Cartermauch, Quhythil- 
brae or Cathmurlie, now Newark, Mill of Newark, Catslack, Easter and 
Wester Montbergerris, Schwtingleyis, Appletreleis, Meirbank, Sutercroft, 
Carteleys, the half of the lands of Halkburne, Hassinden Tower or Monkis 
Tower, Bingwodfeild, Cauldcleuch, Northhouse, Braidhauch, Crawishop, 
1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 255. - Ibid. p. 258. 


Stobbitcott, Burgb, Sudenrig, Colburne, Westcotrig, Bwenhill, Priestishaugh, 
Pannangushop, and the office of bailiary. 

This erection of the barony of Branxholm, during the absence of Buccleuch, 
and the terms in which it was granted, are an additional proof, if any were 
wanted, of the entire approval of his former proceedings by the King. 

After his return from England, and more especially after the Union of 
the Crowns, Buccleuch performed the duties of his office of Keeper of 
Liddesdale with great energy, and contributed greatly to the pacification of 
the country in the district over which he had control. A letter of approval 
and indemnity under the Great Seal, superscribed by King James the Sixth, 
and approved by the Lords of the Privy Council, was granted on the 14th 
November 1608 in favour of Walter, Lord Scott of Buccleuch. That letter 
is in Latin, and is a very important testimony in favour of Buccleuch. The 
import of it may here be given. It shows that large powers had been con- 
ferred on Buccleuch, and that his exercise of them had procured him the 
entire approval of his sovereign. The letter narrates that while the two 
kingdoms were separate, and through the disordered state of the Marches 
on both sides of the Borders, countless numbers of desperate and wicked men 
had harassed the law-abiding inhabitants, and devastated the cultivated lands 
lying adjacent to them. It had been a difficult undertaking to control and 
limit these evils while the perpetrators had convenient places of refuge in 
the neighbouring Marches of England. But as there was now a large and 
increasing number of inhabitants desirous of crushing these disorders and 
cultivating their lands in peace, a way was opened up for the final repression 
of these marauders. It had been customary to issue a special commission 
for the purpose of dealing with these offences, but on this occasion it was not 
thought expedient to do so, lest the malefactors should become aware of the 
intention and take to flight. It was considered not advisable to grant a 
general commission and mandate in writing, lest its powers might be abused. 

Under these circumstances the letter proceeds : — There occurred to our 
memory our most dear cousin, Walter Lord Scott of Buccleuch, a man of 


energy, prompt in counsel and action, powerful in fortune, force, arms, and 
following, to whom we found and esteemed that enterprise worthy to be 
intrusted, on account of his bypast famous and honourable services done to 
us and the commonwealth, and on account of his great fidelity in times 
bypast, in executing, with honour and dignity, the affairs which we intrusted 
to him, and the orders given him, and that to the great help and welfare of 
our loyal, dutiful, and obedient subjects, and in punishing malefactors and 
refractory and rebellious persons. His Majesty had instructed him verbally, 
both privately and in public, that he should, with the utmost speed and 
expedition, take measures to execute justice on the malefactors and settle the 
country in peace. In the execution of these commands, the Lord Buccleuch 
was necessitated to use fire-raising, to cast down, demolish, and destroy 
castles, houses, and buildings, to use hostile feud in hostile manner against 
the malefactors, as well in taking of their lives and killing and slaying of them 
as in putting them to exile and banishing them from the bounds. In con- 
sequence of the lack of prisons, and to prevent the importunate intercession 
of certain good persons, the most part of these desperate men, at once and 
immediately on their apprehension, were necessarily hanged, and punished 
with death by pit and gallows off-hand on the very spot at which they were 
apprehended, dispensing with the ordinary forms of justice, as they were 
publicly known ; and without any dread, and with the utmost audacity, 
confessed and openly acknowledged these and many other capital crimes and 
enormities, as if they should not have been prevented from perpetrating 
them. Several had resisted by force of arms, and refusing to be appre- 
hended, were, of necessity, killed and slain at their apprehending. Also, 
in executing the King's directions and commands, as well particular as 
general, and in hanging with a halter and drowning all the said malefactors 
taken and apprehended, in slaying and killing the fugitives, the refractory, 
and those resisting by force of arms against being taken and apprehended 
to be presented to justice and doom, and in combustion, fire-raising, casting 
down, demolishing, and destroying of their houses and their buildings, his 


Majesty declares that the Lord Buccleuch had acted well, dutifully, and 
honourably, and for his authority and dignity, the comfort and solace of his 
good and well- deserving subjects, and the furthering and stablishing of the 
peace and quietness of the kingdom. And the King approved and ratified 
the same as faithful, good, and acceptable services and duties done to him ; 
and he declared that Lord Scott of Buccleuch, in executing of the same, 
had shown himself a worthy, valiant, obedient, prudent, and faithful subject. 
Lord Scott was therefore absolved and freed from all questioning and charge 
which might be moved anent these causes, and his actions approved and 
ratified. His Majesty further declared that Lord Scott, by these bypast 
proceedings, had been most dutiful, and had done to the King, and for 
the King, famous, worthy, and honourable services. He was therefore 
exonerated from all pains, charge, and peril which might be imputed to him. 
After discharging all prosecutors, judges, or magistrates from proceeding 
against Lord Scott in any process against him on account of these proceed- 
ings, the letter adds that the exoneration and remission are to be understood 
and construed in the widest sense. 1 

On the English side of the Border severe measures were also taken with 
the Borderers, and in the years 1606 and 1607 a large number, consisting 
principally of the surname of Grame, were transported to Ireland and the 
Low Countries. Each parish was ordered to provide a sleuth-hound for the 
pursuit of the marauders in the intricate tracks through the mosses, and 
severe laws were passed for dealing with them. 2 The Union of the Crowns 
entirely altered the character of Border warfare, and Satchells carefully 
distinguishes the " freebooter " of the time previous to the Union from the 
" Border thief" who flourished after that event. 

" I would have none think that I call them thieves, 
For if I did, it would be arrant lies ; 

1 Litera Approbations Servitiorum et aliorum factorum Walteri Domini Scott de Buck- 
cleugh. [Register of the Great Seal, lib. xlvi. No. 15.] 

2 History of Westmoreland and Cumberland, vol. i. pp. cxvii-cxxi. 


For all frontiers and borders I observe 

Wherever they lie are free-booters, 

And does the enemy much more harms 

Than five thousand marshal-men in arms. 

The free-booters venture both life and limb, 

Good wife, and bairn, and every other thing, 

He must do so, or else must starve and die ; 

For all his lively-hood comes of the enemie, 

His substance, being, and his house most tight, 

Yet he may chance to loss all in a night : 

Being driven to poverty, he must needs a free-booter be, 

Yet for vulgar calumnies there is no remedie : 

An arrant liar calls a free-booter a thief, 

A free-booter may be many a man's relief: 

A free-booter will offer no man wrong, 

Nor will take none at any hand : 

He spoils more enemies now and then, 

Than many hundreds of your marshal-men. 
* # * * 

It's most clear a free-booter doth live in hazard's train, 

A free-booter 's a caveleer that ventures life for gain. 

But since King James the Sixth to England went, 

There has been no cause of grief, 

And he that hath transgressed since then, 

Is no free-booter, but a thief." 1 

Towards the end of the stirring career of the Lord Buccleuch we pass 
into a new epoch in Scottish history. Border warfare, as a national policy, 
was, since the Union of the Crowns, no longer necessary, and that which had 
been an act of patriotism became, in the now changed circumstances, a crime 
against society. But the services of the warlike Borderer had been in earlier 
times of great value to the Scottish cause. The persistent efforts of the English 
monarchs, not only to interfere in Scottish affairs but to effect the subjugation 
of the country, had evoked a determination on the part of the Scots to resist 
1 History of the Name of Scot, pp. S, 9. 

VOL. I. 2 G 


to the utmost any attempt at domination by England. The spirited reply of 
the great-grandfather of the Lord Buccleuch to Lord Wharton, in 1544, no 
doubt represented the feeling of the Scots nation. He made no objection to 
the proposed alliance between Prince Edward and Mary Queen of Scots, and 
if it were accomplished would faithfully serve that Prince, but rather than 
submit to constraint by the English he would see the whole of his estates 
reduced to ashes. Another result of the English policy was the close alliance 
of Scotland and France, and the ambitious designs of England were consider- 
ably hampered by the danger of leaving the Borders unprotected. The hardy 
and resolute Borderer required little preparation for warfare, and he was 
ever eager for a foray into the neighbouring kingdom. 

The value of the Scots alliance to France is noticed by Shakespeare in 
his play of " King Henry the Fifth." 

" K. Henry. We must not only arm to invade the French, 

But lay down our proportions to defend 

Against the Scot, who will make road upon us 

With all advantages. 

" Canterbury. They of those marches, gracious sovereign, 
Shall be a wall sufficient to defend 
Our inland from the pilfering Borderers. 

" K. Henry. We do not mean the coursing snatchers only, 
But fear the main intendment of the Scot, 
Who hath been still a giddy neighbour to us ; 
For you shall read that my great-grandfather 
Never went with his force to France, 
But that the Scot on his unfurnish'd kingdom 
Came pouring, like the tide into a breach, 
Witli ample and brim fulness of his force ; 
Galling the gleaned land with hot essays, 
Girding with grievous siege castles and towns, 
That England being empty of defence, 
Hath shook and trembled at th' ill neighbourhood." 1 
1 King Henry v., Act I. Scene 2. 



The cessation of hostilities between the Scots and English Borderers, 
consequent on the Union of the Crowns, however advantageous for the two 
countries, and the absence of civil dissensions in Scotland, left no field for the 
occupation of those who, like Buccleuch, bad been trained to warfare from 
their boyhood. Disdaining an inactive life at home, he turned his attention 
to the Continent of Europe, where numbers of Scotsmen went to learn the 
art of war under the great military leaders of the day. Buccleuch departed 
for the Netherlands as early as the year 1604, as appears from the States- 
General having allowed him £6800 Scots for the expenses of transport in 
that year. He took with him a number of followers, who were formed into 
a company, numbering two hundred men, and would, therefore, take part in 
the last campaign of the war between Spain and the United Provinces, 
serving under the famous Maurice of Nassau, Prince of Orange. Negotia- 
tions during the year 1608 resulted in the conclusion of a twelve years' trace 
in April 1609, 1 and Buccleuch then returned to Scotland, retaining, however, 
his position as Colonel, until his death in 1611. His financial agent at the 
Hague, Van Tilburch, accounted to him regularly for his administration of 
the company, which seems to have remained permanently in the service of 
the States -General. "Touching your company," writes Van Tilburch, in 
August 1611, "it is in fine order, and is one of the best companies in the 
country." He adds that it was regularly paid up to date. 2 Such, however, 
was not the case with Buccleuch's pay as Colonel and Captain, as we learn 
from a statement from his agent in August 1611, that the former was twenty- 
nine months, and the latter eighteen months in arrear, the amount then due 
to him being £17,344 Scots. It is more than doubtful if this was ever paid. 

1 There is among Lord Buccleuch's papers 
a contemporary copy of an interesting letter 
from King Henry the Fourth of France to the 
States-General, giving his views of the politi- 
cal situation, and advising them to conclude 
a peace if that could be done with the recog- 
nition of their freedom and independence by 

Spain, and if that could not be achieved, to 
accept a truce for a long period. — Buccleuch 

2 The Company numbered two hundred 
men, aud the month's pay amounted to £2697, 
17s. Scots. 


Repeated applications were made to the Council of the States-General by 
the agent of the Earl of Buccleuch, after the death of Lord Scott, but there 
is no evidence of a settlement having been made. 

The financial statements of Van Tilburch reveal the fact that the dis- 
bursements on account of Buccleuch's Company were far in excess of the 
amount received from the States-General. One cause of the large outlay 
is stated by Tilburch to have been the anxiety of the lieutenant to keep 
up the strength of the company, which frequently caused the number of 
men to exceed what was allowed for by the States. There was consequently 
a considerable balance due to the agent, which he had disbursed in excess 
of the receipts, and which was afterwards repaid to him by Walter, first 
Earl of Buccleuch, through the British Ambassador, Lord Dudley Carleton. 

From the tone of the letters from Van Tilburch, it is evident that he 
expected the return to Holland of Lord Buccleuch, but the death of the latter 
in December 1611 prevented this intention from being carried into effect. 1 

Lord Buccleuch was requested by Prince Maurice to use his influence in 
arranging a dispute which had arisen between the inhabitants of the prince's 
town of Camp-Vere and the merchants of Edinburgh, who, notwithstanding 
the existence of contracts and treaties, had transferred their trade to the town 
of Middleburg. The Prince sent him a copy of the letter which he had 
forwarded to the Edinburgh merchants, setting forth the advantages to be 
derived in using the port of Vere. The following is the letter from Prince 
Maurice : — 

Monsieur, — J'ay este inform^ par ceulx du Magistrat de ma ville de 
Campvere que quelques-uns auriont induit au Roy et aulx principaulx marchauds 
de la ville d'Edembourgh par sinistres persuasions de . transporter l'estaple de la 
nation Escossoise hors de ma dite ville dedans la ville de Middelbourgh, 
nonobstant les contracts et alliances faites par-ci-devant entre ceulx de la dite 
nation et ma dite ville. A quelle fin j'ay escrit presentement a ceulx de la dite 
ville d'Edembourgh, et les ai mis en-avant combien qu'il leur importe le dite 

1 Letters in Buccleuch Charter-room. 


changement et les commodity que la dite nation, et principalement les negotians 
de la dite ville en pourriont recevoir, en cas que le dite changement vient a estre 
effectue, comme vous verrez par la copie de ma dite lettre laquelle je vous envoie 
ici joincte. Et puis que ceulx de ma dite ville ne desirent riens plus que de faire 
observer de poinct en poinct les dites vielles alliances, et tenir toute amiti6 et 
bonne correspondence avecq la dite ville d'Edembourgh et toute la dite nation. 
Je vous prie de me vouloir faire aultant de plaisir dinduire a ceulx de la dite 
ville d'Edembourgh, qu'ils mettent les raisons contenues de mes lettres, en deli- 
beration, et (considerant l'importance d'icelles) ils ne permettent point que ce 
changement soit mis en execution, puis que cela tend plus a leur propre utilite qu'a 
celle de ma propre ville. En-quoi je recevray plaisir bien aggreable, et si en quelque 
chose je me puis employer derechef pour vostre service, vous me trouverez tousiours 
le tres affectionne a ce faire. Sur quelle fin je prie dieu de vous maintenir, 

En sa saincte protection, 

Vostre bien affectionne a vous faire service. 

De La Haye, le 29 e de Juillet 1611. 1 

Addressed : Monsieur le Baron de Baclouch Chlr. Coronnel, etc. 

Sir Walter Scott was created a Lord Baron of Parliament in Scotland, 
with the title of Lord Scott of Buccleuch, in the year 1606. 

There was a peculiarity in the creation of this dignity which, with two 
exceptions, is perhaps unique in the creations of Scottish peerages. While 
King James the Sixth resided in Scotland, creations of Lords of Parlia- 
ment usually took place by the King in Parliament, which was the practice 
observed since the first institution of barons by King James the First 

1 Original Letter in Buccleuch Charter-room. 


of Scotland, after his return from England about the year 1424. When 
King James the Sixth succeeded to the English throne on the death of 
Elizabeth, new forms of creations of Peers in Scotland had to be observed, 
and written patents were made conferring the dignity. The peculiarity in the 
creation of Lord Scott of Buccleuch is, that it was not made by the King 
personally or by patent. His Majesty granted a commission to the Earl of 
Montrose, then Viceroy in Scotland, and failing him by absence from indis- 
position, to the Earl of Dunfermline as Chancellor, to create Sir Walter Scott, 
Lord Scott of Buccleuch, with all ceremonies used on creations by the King. 

The commission by King James the Sixth, dated 18th March 1606, 
narrates that it had been an ancient and praiseworthy custom to reward and 
ennoble, with titles and degrees of honour and dignity, and eminence above 
others, those whose worthy and distinguished services had tended to the 
augmentation of the greatness and honour of their princes and the further- 
ance of the weal of their country ; therefore this dignity was conferred on 
Sir Walter for his stout and doughty exertions to the singular commenda- 
tion, benefit, and praise of the King and the kingdom and commonwealth, 
and his many and singular abilities, joined with ready and frank inclination 
and willingness to the King's service, and love to his native country, its 
interest and honour. 1 

No record has been preserved of the actual creation by the Commis- 
sioners, but there is no doubt it took place a few months after the date of 
the commission, in March 1606, as the name of Lord Scott of Buccleuch first 
occurs in an Act of Parliament on 9 th July of that year. This was a pure 
case of creation of a peerage by commission without any separate patent, and 
the commission itself limits the dignity to the grantee and his heirs-male. 

Although the commission bears that Sir Walter Scott was to be designated 
Lord Scott of Buccleuch, he had been so long known as Lord of Buccleuch, 
as well as his ancestors before him, that his popular designation continued 
to be Lord Buccleuch. In formal legal instruments he may have been 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 261. 


designated Lord Scott of Buccleuch, but popularly lie was always known as 
Lord of Buccleuch, and his eldest son, after his father's creation as a peer, 
was styled Master of Buccleuch. The Buccleuch name was a cherished one 
in the family. When the second Lord was advanced in the peerage, he took 
the title of Earl of Buccleuch ; and when the highest dignity of Duke was 
conferred, it was with the old and familiar family name of Buccleuch. 

Lord Scott of Buccleuch was appointed a member of the Privy Council of 
Scotland on 26th February 161 1. 1 

Buccleuch married, when in his twenty-first year, Margaret, daughter 
of Sir William Kerr of Cessford, and sister of Bobert, Earl of Boxburgh. 
Their marriage-contract is dated at Halyden, 1st October 1586. The con- 
tractors were William Kerr of Cessford, Warden of the Middle Marches, and 
Dame Janet Douglas, his spouse, on the one part, and Walter Scott of 
Branxholm, John Murray of Blackbarony, and George Scott of Syntoun, his 
curators, on the other part. Buccleuch bound himself, before completing 
the marriage, to infeft Margaret Kerr in the liferent of the lands and barony 
of Eckfurd, and other lands in the shires of Boxburgh and Selkirk. And as 
Margaret Kerr, in the event of her husband's decease, might reap no benefit 
from these lands, which belonged to Lady Margaret Douglas in liferent, 
Buccleuch bound himself to infeft her in liferent in his mains of Branxholm, 
Easter and Wester, the mains of Borthauch, the lands of Overhall, Waltoun- 
burn, and Waltoun Green, in the shire of Boxburgh, with express provision 
that in the event of the decease of Lady Margaret Douglas, Margaret Kerr 
should immediately thereafter renounce her right to these lands. The parents 
of the bride promised with her a tocher of 10,000 merks Scots. 2 

Elizabeth Kerr, Lady Brochtoun, sister-in-law of Lord Buccleuch, writing 
to her niece, Lady Boss, afterwards Countess of Eglinton, on 20th September 
1647, calls Lady Buccleuch her "best sester," and adds, " sche was a goud 
Ker, if euer ther wos any." 3 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 262. - Ibid. p. 242. 

3 Memorials of the Montgomeries, by William Fraser, vol. i. p. 252. 


Buccleuch had by his wife, Margaret Kerr, who survived him, a son, 
Walter, Master of Buccleuch, who succeeded him, and three daughters : — 

1. Margaret, who married, first, contract dated 19th December 1614, and 
1st and penult January 1615, James, sixth Lord Ross, who died in 1633, and 
had issue. Her daughter, Margaret, married, in 1630, Sir George Stirling of 
Keir, knight. She died in 1633, in her seventeenth year, leaving one daughter, 
Margaret Stirling, who died two months after her mother, on 11th May 1633, 
a child of a year old. Margaret Boss, Lady Stirling, was buried in Holyrood 
Chapel, where her husband erected a monument to her memory. The monument 
has been removed, but the inscription which was upon it has been preserved in 
Monteith's " Theatre of Mortality." 1 Dame Margaret Scott, Lady Boss, married, 
secondly, Alexander, sixth Earl of Eglinton, without issue. Lord Eglinton, 
who was popularly known as " Grey Steel," took an active part in public affairs, 
and a number of interesting letters from the Countess have been preserved, 
which throw some light on the condition of the country during those troublous 
times. Lady Eglinton joined in the prevalent belief in witchcraft, and in one of 
her letters expresses herself very strongly on that subject, wishing " God Allmighti 
send a gud tryell of all the wichtis, and send them a hotte fyre to burne them 
with." 2 Her husband having been imprisoned in Hull, the Countess followed him 
to that town, where she died on 5th October 1651. Her body was embalmed, and 
brought by sea to be interred in the family Mausoleum in the Church of Dalkeith, 
by her nephew, Francis, second Earl of Buccleuch. 3 

2. Elizabeth, who married, contract dated 22d November 1616, John, Master, 
afterwards second Lord Cranstoun. She died before 1623, without issue. 

3. Jean or Janet, who, on 21st September 1613, was surrogate executrix 
under her father's testament, in place of the procurator-fiscal, by the Commissary 
of Peebles. 4 

Walter, first Lord Scott of Buccleuch, died on 15th December 1611. 
Although no direct evidence has been found to show the place of his death 

1 The Stirrings of Keir, by William Fraser, 1858, p. 53. 

2 Memorials of the Montgomeries, by William Fraser, vol. i. p. 296. 

3 Balfour's Annals, vol. iv. p. 352. 

4 Memorandum, dated 168S, in Buccleuch Charter-room. 



and burial, it is almost certain that he died at Brauxholm, where he was 
residing shortly before his death. From the entries in the Buccleuch 
Chamberlain Accounts, soon after the date of his death, of payments made 
for embalming his body and making a tomb, we may conclude that he was 
interred in the family vault in Saint Mary's Church, Hawick, which became 
a new burying-place for the Buccleuch family soon after they acquired the 
barony of Brauxholm. He was succeeded by his son Walter, the Master 
of Buccleuch, afterwards first Earl of Buccleuch. 


Phctrcfme? he*? • 

VOL. I. 

■2 H 




Born circa 1587. Succeeded 1611. Died 1633. 

LADY MAEY HAY (of Errol, 1616-1631). 

TUALTEB, Master of Buccleuch, succeeded as second Lord Scott of 
Buccleuch, on the death of his father, the first Lord Scott, on , 15th 
December 1611. He was the first who, for the long period of one hundred 
and forty years, had inherited the Buccleuch estates, being of full age : 
since the time of David Scott, in 1470, the Lords of Buccleuch had all 
been minors at the time of succession. 

Dame Margaret Kerr, Lady Buccleuch, survived her husband, the first 
Lord Scott of Buccleuch. Soon after his death an agreement was entered 
into between Lady Buccleuch and her son, the second Lord, for the purpose 
of arranging the provisions to which she was entitled, under her contract of 
marriage, as the widow of the first Lord. By that contract of marriage with 
him in 1586, he promised to infeft her in the lands and barony of Eckford, 
the town and lands of Gramslow, Eastheuch, and Fasyde, and others, under 
reservation of her liferent to Dame Margaret Douglas, Lady Bothwell, who 
was the widow of Sir Walter Scott of Branxholm, with special provision, 
that in case he died before Lady Bothwell, and Lady Margaret Kerr were 
consequently debarred from her principal lands given to her in liferent, he 
was bound to infeft her in the mains of Branxholm, Easter and Wester, 



DIED 1633. 


mains of Boirhauch, lands of Overhall, Newtoun Burne, and Waltoun Green, 
with provision that on the death of Dame Margaret Douglas, Dame Margaret 
Kerr should overgive all right she might have through, the contract to 
the mains of Branxholm, etc. The deed of agreement further narrates 
that Dame Margaret Douglas, Lady Bothwell, was still alive, and Dame 
Margaret Kerr would be debarred from her principal lands given to her in 
conjunct fee. Therefore it was agreed, for continuing of love, friendship, 
goodwill, and kindness betwixt the mother and son, that Lady Margaret 
Kerr should renounce her terce in favour of her son ; also the Easter Mains 
of Branxholm, reserving the fortalice, manor-place, and yards of Branxholm, 
during the lifetime of Lady Margaret Douglas, without prejudice to her right 
to the other lands contained in her contract of marriage. Walter, Lord Scott, 
her son, ratified the contract of marriage, and bound himself to pay yearly 
to his mother, during Lady Bothwell's life, 1 200 merks Scots. 

The feudal investiture of Walter, Lord Scott of Buccleuch, as heir to his 
father, was completed by an inquest held at Edinburgh on 19th February 1612, 
including Andrew, Lord Stewart of Ochiltree, John, Lord Erskine, Arthur, 
Lord Forbes, and others. Lord Scott was retoured heir to his father in the 
lands and barony of Branxholm, comprehending all the lands included in 
the charter of new erection of the barony, dated 16th August 1599; also 
in the towns and lands of Blakgraine, Woltoun "Green, Woltoun Burn, 
Overhall, Frosterlee, Lennhope, 'and Fawhoip, with the patronage of the 
parish kirk of Woltoun, in the shires of Selkirk and Eoxburgh, with the 
patronage of Eddiltoim and Cassiltoun, according to a charter under the Great 
Seal, dated 22d March 1604 ; also in the lands of Ferniehoip and Dryhoip, in 
the ward of Yarrow, in the Forest ; the lands of Easter Hassendene, Deidrig, 
Easter and Wester Coppitrig, in the barony of Hassindene ; also in the lands 
of Elvillane and Ivirkstead, in the shire of Selkirk. All these lands were 
in the hands of the superiors by reason of non-entry. 

Walter, Lord Scott, was also retoured, on 14th May 1612, in the lands of 
Quhithope, in the barony of Hawick, and the lands of Drydane and Comon- 


side, in the shire of Eoxburgh, held in chief of Sir James Douglas of 
Drumlanrig. On these retours precepts were granted by King James the 
Sixth for infefting Lord Scott in the lands included in the retours ; and 
his feudal title was completed by sasine being expede in his favour on the 
Crown Precepts. 1 

The Parliament of 23d October 1612 ratified the two infeftments granted 
by the King under the Great Seal on 4th October 1594, of the lands and 
lordship and barony of Hailes, and the lands of Elvillane and Kirkstead, 
also of the lands and barony of Branxholm. 2 

The lands which were granted to the first Lord Scott, out of the forfeited 
estate of Francis Stuart, Earl of Bothwell, were the subject of a long- 
negotiation between King James the Sixth and King Charles the First, on 
the one hand, and the Earls of Buccleuch and Eoxburgh, with the Marquis of 
Hamilton, to whom Buccleuch had, with consent of the King, disponed part 
of the lands, on the other. These transactions were not completed during the 
lifetime of Earl Walter, and were only finally settled during the time of his son 
and successor, Earl Francis, in whose Memoir a full account of them will be 
found. In the letter of King James the Sixth, dated 10th December 1622, 
consenting to the disposal of part of these lands by the Earl of Buccleuch, 
the King undertakes that no measure should be passed respecting the 
Bothwell estates to the prejudice of Buccleuch, without his consent and 
advice, and that of the Earl of Eoxburgh, who had obtained a grant of a 
portion of the Bothwell estates. The final settlement was arranged by the 
arbitration of King Charles the First, who restored a large portion of these 
lands to Charles Stuart, the grandson of Francis Stuart, Earl of Bothwell. 3 

Earl Walter inherited, with the lordship of Liddesdale, a serious feud 

1 Original Retours, Crown Precepts, and upon the King's precept on retour infefting 

Sasines in the Buccleuch Charter-room. The Buccleuch in the lordship of Liddesdale and 

Retour in the lordship of Liddesdale has been others, is there noted as at that time in the 

lost ; but in the Inventory of the Buccleuch Charter-room. 

Muniments, made up in the year 1079, an 2 Extract Act in Buccleuch Charter-room, 

instrument of sasine of 19th March 1612, 3 Letters in Buccleuch Charter-room. 


with Robert Elliot of Redheuch, and which nearly cost the Earl his life, as 
plotted by Elliot and his accomplices. At the time of the forfeiture of 
Both well, and of the subsequent grant to Buccleuch in 1594, the lands of Over 
and Nether Lauristoun, Redheuch, and others in the lordship of Liddesdale, 
were in the possession of Robert Elliot. Buccleuch afterwards obtained, on 
30th September 1599, a bond from Elliot and others of the surname, whereby, 
in consideration that he had found caution, and became bound that all the 
inhabitants of Liddesdale should be answerable to the King and his laws, 
they, willing that he should incur no skaith or damage, became bound for 
themselves, and taking the burden on them for their men, tenants, and 
servants, to answer to Buccleuch, his deputies or officers, or to any complaint 
from England, or challenge from the King's Council or his justices, and to 
submit themselves to his Court, and abide trial before him and his 
deputies. 1 

Buccleuch allowed Robert Elliot peaceably to possess these lands until 
he began to oppress his tenants in Liddesdale, and plotted to lay waste the 
whole lordship. Upon this he charged Elliot, in 1608, to remove from the 
whole of these lands ; and Walter, the second Lord Scott of Buccleuch, 
obtained a decreet of removal against Elliot, dated 4th March 1612. 
Buccleuch and his father had right to the lands since 1594, and they suffered 
Robert Elliot peaceably to possess them, without the payment of mail, duty, 
or taxation to his Majesty, to the year 1612, being the space of twenty-one 
years. Robert Elliot, still continuing in his evil courses, Walter, the first 
Earl of Buccleuch, charged him by letters of horning to remove from the 
lands ; and Elliot, in consequence of his disobedience, was denounced rebel 
and put to the horn, and letters of caption and possession procured there- 
upon. Apprehending his danger, Elliot endeavoured, through the influence 
of John Murray of Lochmaben, afterwards Earl of Annandale, with the Earl 
of Buccleuch, to be reponed in the above-mentioned lands, and to obtain a 
discharge of all bygone violent profits thereof. The Earl of Buccleuch, who 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 25S. 


was then at Court, was prevailed upon by the Earl of Annandale ; and upon 
his returning to Scotland, he granted to Elliot an heritable right to the lands, 
with a discharge of all bygone violent profits. 

Not content with this, Elliot caused the disposition and charter by the 
Earl of Buccleuch to be vitiated in the whole of its substantial parts, and 
added the lands of Blaikhoip, Greinholles, and Langhauche, of which he took 
possession, as well as of the lands truly disponed to him. Informed of this, 
the Earl of Buccleuch caused action of improbation of the vitiated charter to 
be raised, and it was found to be vitiated. Thereafter the Earl caused a new 
warning of removal to be made against Elliot, and having obtained decreet 
of removal, .denounced him rebel, and put him to the horn. 

Elliot and his associates were not sufficiently strong to appear, as clan 
often appeared against clan, in hostile array, against Buccleuch and his numer- 
ous retainers. He therefore formed a plot for murdering the Earl. The 
suggestion was first made to him by Gib Elliot, called the Tutor, who came 
to his dwelling-house of Demaynehelme to break the proposal, and speaking 
strongly to him of the Earl's hard usage of him, and of all of the name of 
Elliot, said, " You will never be at rest till the Earl is cut off, and if I could 
get assistance and maintenance I would undertake, at the peril of my life, to 
do the turn within a year." Bobert Elliot favourably entertained the pro- 
posal, and whenever Gib came to his house they talked together about it. A 
few days after Gib broke the design, Bobert Elliot revealed it to Gavin 
Elliot in the Halhouse, who expressed his doubts whether Gib had the 
courage to do such a deed, calling him a feeble fellow, and Gib's courage 
appears to have failed him at the time and place where he had undertaken 
to commit the deed. 

Gib resolved to perpetrate the murder when the Earl of Buccleuch would 
be attending the Justice Court at Jedburgh, as Commissioner of the Border 
in his Majesty's service. Bobert Elliot was in Jedburgh at the time which 
was appointed for assassinating the Earl. But the purpose having failed at 
that time, he and Gib had several meetings and conferences as to the time 


and place to be next appointed for the perpetration of the murder. Gib 
was of opiuion that it might be done with the least danger in Edinburgh. 
They came to the capital, and stayed several days, watching an opportunity 
for executing their fell purpose. Whilst in Edinburgh, Gib bought a whinger 
and showed it to Eobert Elliot and Eobin Young, to whom Eobert had pre- 
viously revealed the design, saying that it was a fit instrument for the purpose 
which they had in hand. Eobert Elliot admitted that he had given Gib £20. 
The purpose having again failed in Edinburgh, both of them, accompanied by 
Eobin Young, returned home, and the Earl of Buccleuch was preserved from 
the intended assassination. 1 

Five years after his succession, Walter, Lord Scott of Buccleuch, married 
Lady Mary Hay, daughter of Francis, Earl of Errol. The marriage-contract 
is dated at Edinburgh and Logy Almond, 11th and 15th October 1616. 
They became bound to solemnise and complete the marriage betwixt the date 
of the contract and the 11th November following. Lord Buccleuch bound 
himself to infeft Lady Mary Hay, his affianced spouse, in liferent, in the lands 
of Branxholm Mains, the tower of Branxholm and castle hill thereof, and the 
mill of Branxholm ; in the lands of Boivhauche, Overhall, Woltounburne, 
and Woltouuhelme, Todschawhill, Chapelhill, and Wallis, Neidschaw and 
Quhynniecleuch, all in the barony of Branxholm ; in the lands of Quhit- 
chester and Newbigging, Eossknow and mill, Over Southfield, Nether 
Southfield, Hawicksheils, Over and Nether, in the barony of Quhitchester ; 
and in the lands of Braidhauche and Allanemouthe, in the shire of 

By the contract Lord Buccleuch also bound himself, his heirs-male and 
successors, failing of heirs-male of the marriage between him and Lady Mary 
Hay, to pay to the daughter or daughters of that marriage the sums of money 

1 These facts are stated in the depositions the Earls of Morton, Roxburgh, and Melrose, 

of Eobert Elliot, who was examined at Holy- as to his intention of murdering the Earl 

roodhouse on 17th and 19th July 1624, in pre- of Buccleuch. Original in Buccleuch Charter- 

sence of the Lord Chancellor, the Treasurer, room. Vol. ii. of this work, pp. 266-2GS. 


as follows : — Should there be but one daughter, the sum of £20,000 ; should 
there be two, to the elder the sum of £20,000, and to the younger 20,000 
merks ; should there be three daughters, to the third £10,000 ; and if there 
were more than three, the eldest was to receive 20,000 merks, and 50,000 
merks to be equally divided among the others as soon as they should attain 
the age of sixteen years complete. In the event of any of the daughters 
dying unmarried before attaining the age of sixteen, their portion was to 
belong to the heirs-male of their father. 

Francis, Earl of Errol, undertook to pay Lord Buccleuch, in name of 
tocher, the sum of 20,000 merks ; and Lady Mary, with advice and consent of 
the noble Lord, her promised spouse, accepted that sum in full satisfaction of 
all infeftments of lands or other provision made in her favour by her father, 
Francis, Earl of Errol, and in full satisfaction of any claim she might have by 
his decease or that of her mother, Lady Elizabeth Douglas, Countess of 
Errol. 1 

It is obviously from this alliance with the Errol family that the Christian 
name of Francis was given to the eldest son of the marriage, after his grand- 
father, Francis, Earl of Errol. The same Christian name has been continued 
in the Buccleuch family to the present time. 

Lord Buccleuch was created Earl of Buccleuch, Lord Scott of Quhitchester 
and Eskdaill, by letters-patent by King James the Sixth, under the Great 
Seal, dated at Newmarket, 16th March 1619. The patent states that the 
dignity was conferred in remembrance of the famous actions, good and 
thankful service done and rendered to the King and his illustrious progenitors 
by his well-beloved counsellor, "Walter, Lord Scott of Buccleuch, and his pre- 
decessors, as well within Scotland as in foreign nations, in the faithful 
execution of certain commissions known to the King intrusted to him, and 
that he and other faithful subjects might be stirred up to the performance of 
such laudable services in times coming. 2 

1 Marriage-contract in Buccleneh Charter-room. 
- Vol. li. of this work, p. 263. 


The profuse hospitality shown at Branxholm Hall during the life of the 
Earl of Buccleuch is thus described by Satchells : — 

" The Barons of Buckleugh they kept at their call 
Four-and-twenty gentlemen in their hall, 
All being of his name and kin, 
Each had two servants to wait on them ; 
Before supper and dinner most renown'd, 
The bells rung and the trumpets sounded, 
And more than that I do confess 
They kept four-and-twenty pensioners : 
Think not I lie, or do me blame, 
For the pensioners I can all name, 
There 's men alive elder than I, 
They know if I speak truth or lie ; 
Ev'ry pensioner a room did gain, 
For service done and to be done, 
This I '11 let the reader understand 
The name of both the men and land, 
Which they possess'd, it is of truth, 
Both from the Lairds and Lords of Buckleugh." x 

He then gives the names of the pensioners, all of the name of Scott, with 
the lands held by them, to be held for service to be rendered when required 
by their chief. He estimates the value of these lands at twelve to fourteen 
thousand merks a year. 2 

In the first Canto of Sir Walter Scott's " Lay of the Last Minstrel," he 
also describes, with much more poetic and picturesque effect than his 
namesake Satchells, the practice of keeping a large body of retainers at 
Branxholm, both from feudal splendour and frontier situation : — 

" Nine-and-twenty knights of fame 

Hung their shields in Branksome-Hall ; 
Nine-and-twenty squires of name 

Brought them their steeds to bower from stall ; 
1 History of the name of Scot, pp. 44, 45. " Ibid. p. 46. 

VOL. I. 2 I 


Nine-and-twenty yeomen tall 
Waited, duteous, on them all : 
They were all knights of mettle true, 
Kinsmen to the bold Buccleuch. 

Ten of them were sheathed in steel, 
With belted sword, and spur on heel : 
They quitted not their harness bright, 
Neither by day, nor yet by night : 

They lay down to rest, 

With corslet laced, 
Pillow'd on buckler cold and hard ; 

They carved at the meal 

With gloves of steel, 
And they drank the red wine through the helmet barr'd. 

Ten squires, ten yeomen, mail-clad men, 
Waited the beck of the warder's ten ; 
Thirty steeds, both fleet and wight, 
Stood saddled in stable day and night, 
Barbed with frontlet of steel, I trow, 
And with Jedwood-axe at saddlebow ; 
A hundred more fed free in stall : — 
Such was the custom of Branksome-Hall." 

The cost of maintaining so many retainers, and the large sums paid for the 
extensive properties which Earl Walter purchased and added to the Buccleuch 
estates, appear to have led to the temporary embarrassment of his pecuniary 
affairs. Although he inherited large territorial possessions from his father, 
and a large annual income, he had also inherited incumbrances which were 
unavoidable in the acquisition of so many additional lands by his father. If 
an unauthenticated memorandum amongst the Harden Muniments is to be 
relied on, it appears that in the year 1621 the pecuniary affairs of Earl 
Walter came to a crisis. It is represented that on the occasion of a visit 
which the Earl made to Edinburgh, his creditors became clamorous for pay- 


ment of the debts owing to them, and each creditor made an attempt to secure a 
preference over the other, which, unless prevented, would have exhausted the 
estate. Through the interposition of Walter Scott of Harden and other friends, 
an arrangement was made with the creditors, who were ultimately paid in 
full of all their claims, and the estate delivered to the Earl free of burden. 1 

According to the account of these transactions, the Earl in the course of a 
few years contracted new burdens, which were also a source of trouble to 
him. When he went to Holland, he left his estates in the charge of the 
kinsman, Walter Scott of Harden, who had helped to extricate him on the 
former occasion. So well did Harden again manage for his chief in his 
absence, according to the memorandum referred to, that he cleared the 
Buccleuch estates of all incumbrances, and purchased as an addition to them 
the lordship of Eskdalemoor. 

From an early date it has been shown that the Scotts of Buccleuch were 
heritable bailies of the regality of Melrose ; but when Thomas, Earl of 
Melrose, afterwards Earl of Haddington, acquired the regality after the 
Reformation, an arrangement was made between him and Walter, Earl of 
Buccleuch, whereby the latter resigned the office of heritable bailie of the 
regality of Melrose, with all privileges belonging thereto. But the Earl of 
Buccleuch excepted and reserved from the resignation the lands of Bingwood- 
field, Caldcleuch, JSTorthhouse, Crawshope, Stobbitcote, Burghe, Soudenrig, 
Coilburne, Westcoitrig, Cowanhill, Friesthauche, and Penmanginshope, and 
within the lands of Piodonnald, and Ettrickhead, and Eskdalemoor. 2 

The bailiary of Melrose was the only portion of the Buccleuch estates 
with which Earl Walter parted. His ptirchases and additions to the family 
estate were extensive. 

In the year 1612, he purchased from William, Earl of Morton, the 
tenandry of Dumfedling, in Eskdalemoor. The price paid was 52,250 merks, 

1 Account of Kindness, Harden to Buc- 2 Original Instrument of Resignation, dated 

eleuch, 1621, in Lord Polwarth's Charter- 8th February 1621, iu Buccleuch Charter- 
room, room. 



and Earl Walter also became bound to pay the wadsets which affected 
the tenandry. 

In the year 1619, he purchased from John, Earl of Mar, the lands of 
Sinton, in the shire of Selkirk. The price is not stated. He also purchased 
from James and John Pringles of Buckholme the lands of Tynneis, in the 
lordship of Ettrick Forest, for 20,000 merks. 

He also purchased in the same year, from Sir John Ker of Jedburgh, the 
lands of Baxtonleys, Cleifthope, Over and Nether Whitkirk, Whiland, Ormis- 
cleuch, Abbotsyke, and Abbotshawes, in the lordship of Liddesdale, and 
formerly a part of the abbacy of Jedburgh; the teinds of Castletoun and 
Erkletoun, and all other lands of the old Cell of Cannabie. 

By a separate contract, dated in the following year, 1620, Earl Walter 
purchased from Sir John Ker of Jedburgh the lordship of Ewsdale, compre- 
hending the lands and patronages therein specified ; also the ground where 
the cloister and yard of Cannabie stood, the town and lands of Cannabie, the 
lands of Mortonwoods, the lands and barony of Tarras, in the parish of 
Cannabie, and the lands of Glenyard and Morton, in the parish of Morton. 

The price which was paid by the Earl of Buccleuch to Sir John Ker for 
these lands appears to have been eight score thousand merks, sixteen thou- 
sand merks, and one hundred and twenty-seven thousand five hundred and 
fifty merks, as there are discharges by Sir John to the Earl for those three 

Earl Walter also purchased in the year 1622, from James Scott of 
Hassinden, the barony of Hassinden, for a certain sum of money, which is 
not stated in the disposition in favour of the Earl. 

Another important purchase by the Earl led to a long litigation. The 
transaction connected with the acquisition by Earl Walter, from Robert, Earl 
of Nithsdale, of the barony of Langholm, began with a wadset, in the year 
1616, by Nithsdale for £40,000 to Earl Walter and the Earl of Abercorn, and 
Sir John Maxwell of Pollok. The share of that sum advanced by the Earl 
of Buccleuch was £15,000. After the death of the latter, his son, Earl 


Francis, purchased the barony of Langholm for 105,050 merks. His daughter, 
Anna, Duchess of Buccleuch, successfully defended claims made by the Earl 
of Nithsdale to the barony of Langholm. 

These extensive purchases of properties, all made in the course of a few 
years, with the great cost of maintaining so many retainers at Branxholm, were 
enough to involve the affairs even of a nobleman of large annual income, and 
to account for the statement by Harden as to the circumstances of Earl Walter 
in the year 1621. His pecuniary matters at the time of his death, in 1633, 
were in a very flourishing state. The money and personal estate amounted 
to £196,000, while the whole sums owing by him amounted only to £7339. 

Walter, Earl of Buccleuch, like his father, Lord Buccleuch, preferred the 
stirring life of the camp to the comparative inaction of the feudal Baron, and 
in the year 1627 he departed abroad to take part in the momentous issues 
then being decided on the Continent. Like his father, he chose to enter the 
service of the States-General, to whose aid he took a detachment of Scotsmen. 
According to the account given by Satchells, this contingent contained a 
hundred men of the name of Scott. 

" When Earl Buccleuch he did to Holland wain, 
There went with him a hundred gentlemen of that name." 1 
Whatever may have been the case in 1629, of which time Satchells here 
writes, this description does not apply to the condition of the detachment at 
a later date. The list of the names of the men serving in the Earl's company 
from April 1632 until March 1633 has been preserved, and it contains a 
surprisingly small number of the name of Scott. The company varied in 
numbers during that time, from one hundred and fifty to one hundred and 
eighty men, and never includes more than half-a-dozen of that surname. 
Satchells was an old man when he wrote his history, and his recollection of 
events which had happened in his youth may sometimes have been indis- 
tinct. Besides, his enthusiastic clan feeling led him to romance somewhat 
when concerned for the glory of the Scotts. 

1 History of the name of Scot, p. 70. 


Hostilities had been renewed between Spain and the United Provinces at 
the end of the twelve years' truce. The principal struggle between these two 
powers was at that time carried on by their fleets, and important successes 
were gained by the Dutch, whose maritime power was now taking the pro- 
minent place which it held in the seventeenth century. But although their 
tactics on land were chiefly confined to a war of defence, successful and 
important campaigns were made by Prince Frederick Henry, who had 
succeeded his brother Prince Maurice as stadtholder. In these campaigns the 
Earl of Buccleuch took part. Satchells, who, when a youth of sixteen years, 
went abroad with him in 1629, lelates that 

" The valiant Earl of Buckleugh when I was young 
To the Bush in Brabant with his regiment came, 
Which is the space of fifty-nine years agone. 
I saw him in his arms appear, 

Which was in the sixteen hundred and twenty-seven year, 
That worthy Earl his regiment was so rare, 
All Holland's leagure could not with him compare. 
Like Hannibal, that noble Earl he stood, 
To the great effusion of his precious blood ; 
The town was tane with a great loss of men, 
To the States of Holland from the King of Spain. 
His honour's praise throughout all nations sprung, 
Borne on the wings of fame that he was Mars's son, 
The very son of Mars, which furrowed Neptune's brow, 
And over the dangerous deep undauntedly did plow, 
He did esteem his countries honour more 
Than life and pelf, which peasants does adore." 1 
Besides the siege to which Satchells refers, we learn from the military 
papers and books of the Earl that he was present at the sieges of Bergen-op- 
Zoom and Maestricht. 

The Earl of Buccleuch, besides the company above mentioned — which no 
doubt contained the men he had himself provided from Scotland— appears to 
1 History of the Dame of Scot, p. 4. 


have held the command of one of the Scots regiments then serving in the 
Netherlands. The following is a translation of a letter from the States - 
General, requiring him to instruct the captains to complete the numbers of 
their companies, bringing them up to their full strength : — 

Sir, — It has pleased the States to order that all the companies in the service 
of the country should complete their numbers by the first of March next ; in 
pursuance of which I have given orders to all captains that they should take 
measures accordingly. But in order that those of your regiment should so much 
the more discharge the duties thereunto required, I would be obliged by your 
taking care personally to write to each in particular that they would so arrange 
as by the day above mentioned to have their companies not only completed with 
proper and well-appointed men, enrolling recruits for this purpose, if necessary, 
but also that they would maintain them in good order, so that the State may 
have due service from them and you as well as they may have honour. In 
expectation of which 

I remain, 

Yours very affectionately, to do you service, 

F. Hy. Defrain. 1 
From the Hague, this last day of the year 1628. 

To the Earl of Bachlouch, Colonel. 

In his absence to the Lieutenant-Colonel, and in his absence to the Sergeant- 
Major of the regiment. 

Alluding to the great reputation which the Earl of Buccleuch acquired in 
the service of the States of Holland against the Spaniards, Arthur Johnston 
apostrophised " Bucluchius " thus — 

Arva dedit Scoto Rex Scotus, Belga dat aurum, 
Estque triumph atus serta daturus Iber. 2 

[The Scottish King gives lands to Scott, the Belgian gives him gold, the con- 
cpiered Spaniard will give him wreaths of victory.] 

1 Translated from the original letter in 2 Artvn Johnstoni Scoti Medici Regij 

French in Bnecleuch Charter-room. Poemataomuia. — Ejiigrammata. Zealand, 1642. 


Sir Walter Scott also, in his Introduction to the " Lay of the last Minstrel," 
pays a tribute to the renown of Earl Walter : — 

" And he began to talk anon, 
Of good Earl Francis, dead and gone, 
And of Earl Walter, rest him, God ! 
A braver ne'er to battle rode ; 
And how full many a tale he knew, 
Of the old warriors of Buccleuch." l 

From his first expedition to Holland in 1627, the Earl appears to have 
returned in the following year, and in the spring of 1629 he resolved to return 
to Holland. Previous to his departure he executed a commission in favour 
of Lady Mary Hay, his Countess, and a number of his Scott kinsmen, to act 
for him during his absence. The commission narrates that as the Earl is of 
purpose and intention shortly, God willing, to pass furth of the realm of Scot- 
land to the countries of England, Holland, and other foreign countries, as his 
affairs required, he constituted Dame Marie Hay, Countess of Buccleuch, his 
spouse, Sir John Scott of Scottstarvit, Walter Scott of Harden, Sir William Scott 
of Harden, Hew Scott of Deuquhair, Francis Scott of Syntoun, sons to Walter 
Scott of Harden, Laurence Scott of Harparrig, advocate, Mr. William Scott his 
son, and Eobert Scott of Hartwodmyres, or any three of them — Sir John Scott, 
Sir William Scott, Laurence Scott, and Mr. William Scott, or one of them 
being one of the three — his commissioners, to enter vassals, receive resigna- 
tions and grant infeftments, make and grant rentals of the lands, to hold 

1 The following curious acrostic appears in " W ith true cost are you stored, whose delight 
a poetical work of extreme rarity, printed in A ttendeth still upon the way that 's right : 
the year 1637 : — L iving indeed with such a noble care, 

T hat those who know you very well are ware 
" To the Eight Honourable E ach of them seeing well that you may bost 

Walter Earle of Buckleugh B. ightly to be compos'd al of true cost, 

Lord Eskdaill S o noble Scot sith you do so abound 

Walter Scott C ost truly true most trewly in you found. 

Anagramma then you '1 easily pardon my amisse, 

Al Trew Cost." T rue cost al nobly in your honour is." 

Famis Koule, by Mrs. Mary Fage. 


courts, control the Chamberlain's and factor's accounts, and take all other 
measures needful for managing his estates. The commission was to endure 
during his absence out of Scotland, or at least till he discharged the same 
by writing. 1 

The youngest child of the Earl of Buccleuch and his Countess, Lady Mary 
Hay, was born on the 11th of April 1631, and was named after her mother, 
Lady Mary Scott. Her birth appears to have taken place at the castle of 
Newark, in Yarrow, where the Earl and Countess were residing. The 
Countess did not survive the birth many days ; and in the course of a fort- 
night the Chamberlain Accounts for the year 1631 contain entries showing 
the indisposition, death, and funeral of the Countess. On the 24th of April, 
only thirteen days after the birth, there are payments for " ane wainscot 
kist, all run with wax," for " the embalmeng of the corpes," and for the 
" serymony of the funeral!" 2 

The Earl was recalled from his command in the Netherlands in November 
1631, by King Charles the First, who wrote direct to him, desiring his pre- 
sence in London, as his Majesty had occasion for his services. Buccleuch had 
been intrusted by the King with a mission of some importance, the nature of 
which is not known, as the following letter shows : — 

Fernham Castle, 5th Augt. 1631. 
Trusty and beloved, wee greete yow well : Whereas owr well-beloved cosen, 
the Earle of Buckliugh is to repayre into these places where yow are, wee have 
thoght fitt to communicat to him some purposes wherein wee understand yow are 
able and will be willing to advance our service. These are therefore to will and 
requyre yow to give beleefe and trust to what he shall speake in owr name : and 
owt of yowr zeale to trewth and loyalty to ws ferder and cleare what he shall 
propose. Wherein as ye shall doe ws acceptable service. So expecting yowr 
cair and diligence in the performance, wee bid yow farewell. 

Indorsed : Copie of the King's letter to Bwcclugh, 1631. 3 

1 Original Commission, dated at Edin- 2 Chamberlain Accounts for the year 1631. 

burgh, 2d April 1629, in Buccleuch Charter- in Buccleuch Charter-room, 
room. 3 Copy Letter in Buccleuch Charter-room. 

VOL. I. 2 K 


The following is the letter to the Earl of Bnccleuch from King Charles the 
First, desiring a personal interview with him in England : — 

Westminster Palace, 27 Nov. 1631. 
Charles R. — Right trustie and right well-beloved cosen, wee greete you 
well : Having some important occasions to make use of your service here in our 
owne affaires, and the time of the year affording a good opportunitie for your 
absince from the charge and command you hold in the service of our good frends 
and allyes the States-Gen erall of the United Provinces, to whome wee have 
written, as also to our cosen the Prince of Orange in that behalf : Wee doe 
therefore require and command you to make your speedie repaire to our pre- 
sence, alsoone as you have performed the resj>ects due to that State in asking 
and obtaining; leave, as in the like cases is accustomed. Given under our si<niet 
at our Pallace of Westminster, the 27th of November, in the seaventh yeare of 
our reigne, 1631. 

To our right trustie and right well-beloved Cosen, Earl of Buccleuch. 1 

Buccleuch was living at Branxholm in the autumn of the year 1632. He 
appears to have been fond of music, as the accounts of the Chamberlain con- 
tain payments, on the 18th and 20th of August of that year, to a little boy 
of the house of Thirlstane that sung to his Lordship at the "Dowcat" at 
Branxholm, and to three English " pypers" at Branxholm. 2 

The Earl of Buccleuch afterwards returned to his command in the 
Netherlands. His regiment was at Maestricht from June until November 
1632, and a letter, written by the Earl to his sister, Margaret Scott, Lady 
Ross, on 4th October 1633, six weeks before his death, shows that he was 
still at that date in active service : — 

" Sister, — I have had only one lettre from you befoir I vnderstud that my 
Lord, your husband, had bein hevily seike, and you corned to London to hym. 
The news off hys seiknes and recuvery come att one tyme to me ; quhair as I vas 
sorey for the one, I vas glaid for the other off hys recovery. If this come to your 
hands in London, I pray you send this other pakett to Scotland vithe seure dili- 

1 Original Letter in Buccleuch Cliarter-room. 

2 Chamberlain Accounts, in Buccleuch Charter-room. 


gence, for they be most about my particular affaires att this terme ; the other 
vithe yours send them as they be directett att London. I have hard no news off 
my children this long tyme ; I long to heir off them. I am to be att home about 
the terme, so I vill remitt all particular busines to then I sye you, bothe concern- 
ing my children and other busines. I am not certaine off ony sure convoy off 
lettres, othervays I had oftener ryttin to you. I haue note had on memorye from 
your frind ; all violent humeurs passes, viche is best. I pray you remember me 
to your Lord and husband, and tell hym from me thair is non shall vische hys 
helthe and prosperite more nor I, 

Your brother and his servant. 


From the Armie at Viset, the 4 of October 1633: To my sister, the Lady 
Eoss, at London. 1 

The unruly Borderers of what were then called the Middle Shires of the 
empire still continued to give trouble to the authorities, and a proclamation 
was issued on 9th September 1618, for the suppression of the "limmers" 
who infested the Borders. Buccleuch was one of those named who were 
commissioned to take action in this matter. 

The absence of mutual concurrence on the part of the chief men on either 
side of the West and Middle Borders of Scotland and England had facilitated 
the escape from justice of the marauders in those districts. King James 
the Sixth, therefore, instructed the Earls of Buccleuch and Nithsdale, and 
Viscount Annand, to meet with the Earl of Cumberland, Lord Clifford, and 
Lord William Howard, in order to concert measures for repressing the dis- 
orders. The following is the letter from the King : — 

James E. 

Eighte trustie and righte wel-beloued cosens and counsellowris, and righte 
trustie and wel-beloued counsellour, wee greete yow well : Whereas wee are 

1 Original Letter at Eglinton. Printed in the Memorials of the Montgomeries, vol. i. p. 229. 


crediblie enformed that disorders haue of late encreased in the Midle Shires 
betwixte the two kingdomes, partelie by scarcetie and dearth, but cheefelie 
through lacke of mutual concurrence and intelligence betwixte the principall 
officers of the said shires, so as a malefactour hauing committed an offence in 
eyther of the kingdomes, flying to the other, hath receipte, and seldome or neuer 
is called in question for the same, wee haue therefor thoughte good by these 
presentes to wille and require yow, with such conuenient expedition as may be, 
to appointe such time and place as by mutuall consente yee, the Earle of, the Lord Clifforde, the Lord William Howarde, and remanent com- 
missioners of this kingdome, shall think moste conuenient to meet at, there ioyntlie 
to conclude, agree vpon, and setle doune such orders, articles, and conditions as 
shalbe moste requisite for suppressing of all kinde of disorders in the said Midle 
Shires, aswell at this presente as in all time comming : And herein exspecting 
your care and speciall diligence, wee bid yow farewell. Giuen at our Castle of 
Windesor, the 23d of Aprile 1623. 

To our righte trustie and righte welbeloued cosens and counsellowris, the 
Earles of Nethesdale and Backleugh, and to our right trustie and right 
welbeloued counsellour, the Viscount Annandie, these deliuer. 1 

Eobert Pringle of StitchelL who was bailie of the Debateable Lands to 
the Earl of Buccleuch, wrote to him, in July 1633, as to his dealings with 
certain freebooters, that the Armstrongs and others of Liddesdale had not 
entirely given up their predatory habits. Their depredations, however, had 
then become comparatively trifling affairs. Pringle apprehended Archy 
Armstrong of Hollas for the theft of " ane kow," but could find no jail in 
which to secure his prisoner. Having bound the owner of the cow to prose- 
cute, he sent Armstrong to Jedburgh, desiring that he might be kept in 
safe ward at his own charges until his trial. The Jedburgh authorities, 
however, set the prisoner at liberty. He was again arrested by Prinze's 
son-in-law, and lodged in Carlisle jail; but Pringle would allow of no prose- 
cution in England. He had bound himself, he says, that " no complayner 
shall be in England for any tennaut dwells in your Lordship's land." He was 

1 Original Letter penes Lord Herries. Printed in the Book of Carlaverock, vol. ii. p. :i. 

STATE OF THE BORDERS, 1618-1633. 261 

determined, however, that the offender should not escape. " Bot I shall lay 
the offendour in jeoill, provyding we may have ane jeoill to receive the 
prisoner." 1 

Some years afterwards, Archie Armstrong still continued to annoy 
Buccleuch's bailie. On the 20th of August 1641, a deposition was made by 
Bobert Bringle of Stitchell, in which he stated that he was of the age of sixty 
years, that he had been bailie of the Debateable Lands to Lord Buccleuch 
for twenty-five years, where Archie Armstrong dwelt, and that the deponer 
being in the town of Langholm, the said Archie came there openly, albeit he 
was an outlaw long before, and that Archie said to the deponer that he had 
a warrant and respite from the Earl of Traquair, for undertaking to put out 
some thieves who had stolen a mare from the Earl. 2 Lord Traquair, if Archie 
Armstrong is to be believed, seems, in employing Armstrong, to have acted 
on the principle of setting one thief to catch another. 

The Earl of Buccleuch visited Scotland in the autumn and winter of 
1632-33, and in the prospect of returning to his command in the Low 
Countries, made his testament, dated Morpeth, 12th January 1633. By it 
he constituted Francis Lord Scott, his eldest lawful surviving son, his only 
executor and universal intromitter with his whole personal estate, with 
power to him to give up the inventory thereof for confirmation. He 
appointed as tutors to his children Sir John Scott of Scottistarvit, Sir 
William Scott of Harden, Hew Scott of Dewchar, and Francis Scott of 
Sintoun, brothers to Harden, Laurence Scott of Harperig, advocate, Mr, 
William Scott his son, Bobert Scott of Hartwoodmyres, and William Scott, 
the Earl's natural son, or any four of them accepting the office, — Sir John 
Scott, Sir William Scott, Lawrence Scott, Mr. William Scott, and William 
Scott, the Earl's natural son, or any one of them being one of the four 

After the Earl's death, all the tutors named in his testament entered into 
an obligation, on the 21st and 31st January 1634, whereby, in obedience to 

1 Original Letter in Buccleuch Charter-room. - Original Deposition at Traquair. 


the Earl's latter will, and for the respect that they all had to the weill and 
standing of the living of Buccleuch, and to the weill of the whole bairns of 
the late Earl, the whole tutors became bound to concur " efaldlie " and truly 
with others, and amongst themselves, in all things concerning the faithful, 
true, and lawful discharge of the office of tutory, and that none of them 
should do anything thereanent without the special advice and consent of Sir 
John, Sir William, Laurence, Mr. William, and William Scott conjunctly, 
under the penalties therein specified. 1 

Having made his will, the Earl departed for Holland. According to 
his intention, expressed in a letter to his sister Lady Eoss, he returned to 
England towards the close of the year 1633. His death took place soon 
after his arrival in this country, at London, on the 20th of November 1633. 
His corpse was embalmed, and was carried thence in a vessel belonging to 
Kirkcaldy, which had been hired on the Thames by Patrick Scott of Thirle- 
stane, who took the charge of the transport. The vessel encountered severe 
storms, and was driven to the coast of Norway. But at last, after a perilous 
voyage of fifteen weeks, the ship arrived safely at Leith. The death and 
funeral obsequies of Buccleuch are thus described by Satchells : — 

" My purpose now is to return, 
And speak of bold Buckcleugh, 
That worthy valiant son of Mars, 
That most illustrious one. 
The United Provinces him should blaze 
To ages that 's to come : 
The year and time I must exprime 
That from Holland came he, 
The sixteen hundred and thirty-three, 
At London he did die ; 
In November month to speak the truth 
It was our woeful fate, 

1 Extract Obligation, registered in Books of Council 3d February 1634, in Lord Polwartb's 

/rfU^ / ■l^^'^e- ^^ o-^A- <?^^ ^y^r 





To the Bier many friends came, 

To see him ly in state. 

The nobles of the Court repair'd, 

Clad in their sable weed, 

And countrymen in flocks came in, 

To see 's herse when he was dead ; 

Patrick Scot then of Thirlstone, 

A worthy gentleman, 

He took the care of all affairs, 

Caus'd his corps to be embalm' d, 

All being done that wit of man 

Could do or understand ; 

Then a ship he fraughted on the Thames, 

To bring him to Scotland." 

After describing the successive storms which the vessel encountered, 
Satchells adds : — 

" By Providence they did arrive at Leith, 
That troublesome, toilsome journey, to be brief, 
Fifteen weeks was between London and Leith. 
To all ages it should ne're be forgot, 
The pains that Patrick Scot of Thirlston took. 
..Eneas on Anchises he took pains enough, 
But Patrick Scot he took more of the Earl of Buckcleugh : 
All that men can do, when princes do command, 
Their loyalty to show, and venture life and land : 
I have known many on Buckcleugh's means was bred, 
Yet one night, from home, they never lay from bed." 1 

Having arrived at Leith, the corpse was placed in the church of that 
town, where it remained for twenty days. It was then conveyed with 
considerable pomp through Edinburgh to Branxholm by Dalkeith, Lauder. 

1 History of the Name of Scot, pp. 54-60. 


and Melrose, alms being freely distributed at all the villages and towns 
through which the cortege passed. 1 The body of the Earl remained at Branx- 
holm till the 11th of June 1634, when it was carried in the magnificent 
manner then customary to St. Mary's Church, Hawick, in which the Earl 
was interred among his ancestors. Seven months thus elapsed between the 
death and burial of the Earl. An account of the funeral procession has 
been preserved, as follows : — 

Imprimis. Went a conductor [of ?] the saulies in mourning, with a black 
staffe in hes hand, and after him ane old mane in a murning goune, 
cariing a staffe, a Gumpheone one buckrone. 
Item, 46 saulies, 2 and 2, in order, in black gouns and hoods, with blacke 
staues in ther hands, and one them the defunct's amies and ciphers 
in Buckrone. 
Item, a trumpet cled in the defunct's Liuerey, ryding one horsse back, 

Nixt, Bobert Scot of Houeschaw armed at al pices, ryding one a fair 
horsse, and cariing on the poynte of a lance, a litle Baner of the 
defunct's cullers, viz., azur and or. 
Item, a horsse in black, led by a Lackey in murning. 
Item, a horsse with a foote mantle in crimpsone weluet embrodered with 

siluer, led by a lackey in the defunct's Liuerey and Mandeill. 
Item, 3 trumpetts in murning one foote, sounding sadlie. 
Item, the Grate Gumpheon of black tafta, caried one the pointe of Lance, 

sutable by Mr. James Scote, 2d sone to Laurence Scot, Aduocat. 
Item, the defunct's spurs, carried by Walter Scot of Lauchope. 
Item, the suord, caried by Andrew Scot, Brandmedowes. 
Item, the Gantletts, caried by Francis Scot of Castellsyde. 
Item, the defunct's coate of honour, caried by Mr. Laurence Scot, 

1 "To the 7 trumpeters for going south, nogait, 3 dolors." There were three Heralds 
100 merks each. Mair to thame for thryss also taken from Edinburgh. — Buccleuch 
sounding through Edinburgh and the Can- Chamberlain Accounts. 


Then folloued the 8 branches of the defuncte in this order, viz. : — 

The Armes of Montgomerey, 2d Grandame one the Mother syde, caried 

by Johne Scot, provest of Crighton. 
One lies right hand the Armes of Hamilton of Clidisdaille, 2d Grandame 

on the father's syde, carieyd by Eobert Scot of Drayvpe. 
The Armes of Douglas of Drumlanricke, 2d Grandsyre one the mother's 

syde, caried by Eobert Scot of Bouhill. 
One hes right hand the armes of Douglas, Earle of Angus, 2d Grandsyre 

one the father's syde, caried by Johne Scot of Heidshaw. 
The Armes of Ker of Pherneyhirst, first Grandame one the mother's syde, 

caried by Andrew Scot of Carschope. 
One hes right hand the armes of Betton of Creighe, the first grandame one 

the father's syde, caried by Eob Scot of Hartewoodmyres. 
The Armes of Ker of Cesfurd, first Grandsyre one the mother's syde, 

caried by Eobert Scot of Wbytefield. 
One hes right hand the Armes of Scot of Balcleuche, first Grandsyre one 

the father's syde, caried by Sir Eobert Scot of Haning. 
Item, the grate pincell of black taffata, caried one a lance poynt by Walter 

Scot of Gridlelands [Goldielands]. 
Item, the defunct's Standard, caried by Mr. William Scot, eldest sone to 

Lawrence Scot, aduocat. 
Item, the defunct's pincell and motto of colors, caried by Sir James Scot 

of Eossie. 
Item, the defunct's Armes in mettal and color, and taffata, caried aloft by 

Sir William Scot of Harden. 
Item, 3 trumpetts in mourning. 
Item, 3 pursueuants in murning, in ther coates. 
Item, the defunct's coronett, overlayd with cipres, caried one a veluet 

cusheon by Sir John Scot of Scotstaruet. 
Then, last of all, cam the corps, caried under a fair parte of black veluet 
deckt with armes, L'armes and cipres of Sattin, of the defuncte, knopt with 
vol. I. 2 L 


gold, and one the coffin the defunct's helrnett and coronett, overlayed with 
cipres, to show that he wes a soldiour. And so in this order, with the con- 
ducte of maney honorable friends, marched they from Branxholme to Hawick 
church, quher, after the funerall sermon endit, the corpes wer interrid 
amongest hes antcestors. 1 

The inventory of the personal estate of the deceased Earl of Buccleuch 
was given up by Michael Scott, his chamberlain, by direction of his Lordship's 
tutors-testamentary. The sum of the inventory, including 7000 old sheep, 
4000 lambs, 200 nolt, library estimated at £2666, 13s. 4d., 2 amounted in all 
to £28,100. The sum of the debts due to him was £1 67,900, Is. 2d. Together, 
£196,000, Is. 2d. The sum of the debts due by him was £7339, 3s. 4d. 3 

Of the marriage of Earl Walter and Lady Mary Hay there was a family 
of three sons and three daughters : — 

1. Walter, Lord Scott, was born on Sunday, 13th, and baptised on 20th 
November 1625. 4 He died in childhood, and before 2d April 1629, when David 
the third-born son is called the second lawful son. 

2. Francis, Lord Scott, who succeeded as second Earl of Buccleuch. 

3. David, who was born at Newark Castle on Wednesday, 28th November, and 
baptised on the 4th December 1627, as appears from a memorandum of the births 
and baptisms of the children of his father. 5 Within two years after his birth, his 
father, Earl Walter, provided by bond, dated 2d April 1629, David Scott, who 
is designed his second lawful son, and the heirs-male of his body lawfully to be 
begotten, whom failing, to return to the Earl, the cloister houses, biggings, and 
yards of Cannobie, then demolished, the town and lands of Cannobie, the lands of 
Bedcleuch, Lymecleuch, the west side of the lands of Rowanburne, the lands of 

1 " The funerall ceremony of Walter, Earle 3 Vol. ii. of this work, pp. 269-274. 
of Balcleueh, Lord Scote of Brankshome, &c, 4 Ibid. p. 268. 

one of the Lords of the Privey Counsaill to 5 Ibid. p. 268. The fee paid to the lady 

K. James and K. Charles." — Balfour's Ancient accoucheur on the occasion was £26, 13s. 4d. ; 

and Heraldic Tracts, p. 106. and at the christening of David Scott, Mr. 

2 The catalogue of the Earl's library, made Thomas Wilkie, reader at the kirk of Selkirk, 
by Sir John Scott of Scottstarvit, contains for registering the name, received £6, 13s. 4d., 
about 1200 volumes in Latin, Italian, and and the poor £1, 4s., all Scots money. — 
French, with a few in Spanish and English. (Accounts, in Buccleuch Charter-room.) 


Newtoun of Baittbank, Knottisholme, Archeld, Lytbukhill, Woodhouseleys, the 
Mains of Cannobie, called Bowholm, the lands of Hoillhouse, and others, per- 
taining of old to the Priorie of Cannobie, with fortalices, manor-places, in the 
shire of Dumfries, the lands and barony of Mortonwoods, and the barony of 
Tarras, under exception. 

It was provided that if Earl Walter predeceased his second son, David, before 
the latter attained the age of twenty-one years, his eldest son was to possess the 
lands as his own property until David Scott attained the age of twenty-one years, 
the eldest son paying David Scott during the space from his father's death till his 
own majority the yearly sum of 1000 merks Scots, and also to entertain David 
Scott honestly, according to his estate, and as his age required, at the schools and 
in virtue and learning, and also a further sum of 500 merks Scots. 

Upon the precept of sasine contained in the bond of provision, David Scott 
was infefted in the lands of Cannobie and others on the 8th September 1629. 1 
He was thereafter known as David Scott of Cannobie. Along with his brother 
Earl Francis, he was entered as a student at the University of St. Andrews on 
5th February 1641. He appears to have been engaged in the war of the year 
1648, as in a letter from Sir Walter Scott to Sir Gideon Scott, dated 7th June 
1659, he writes — " That Twedels design upon the estait of Bucleuch is not new, 
but that he might be nearer, he was the occasion of the death of my lord's onelie 
brother David, by engadging him in the war 1648." 2 

He died, unmarried, in the month of July 1648, when in his twenty -first year. 
David Scott was succeeded in the lands of Cannobie and others above mentioned 
by his only surviving brother, Francis, second Earl of Buccleuch, who, on 23d 
February 1649, expede a special service as heir to his brother David in these lands. 

To the personal estate of David Scott his sister Jean, Lady Tweeddale, made 
up a title as executor, by confirmation by the Commissaries of Edinburgh, on 7th 
August 1666, in which he is stated to have been one of the four bairns of Earl 
Walter. The total sums which were confirmed by Lady Tweeddale as executrix 
of her brother David Scott, amounted to £63,338, 17s. Scots. 3 

1. Lady Elizabeth was born in November, and baptised 3d December 1621. 
When her father, Earl Walter, made provision for his other children, he executed 

1 Originals of Bond of Provision, Instru- 2 Original Letter in Lord Polwarth's Char- 

ment of Sasine, and Retour, all in Buccleuch ter-room. 
Charter-room. 3 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 316. 


an obligation on 2d April 1629, in favour of his eldest lawful daughter, Lady- 
Elizabeth Scott, for her advancement to an honourable marriage in due time, in 
an annualrent of £2000 Scots furth of the lordship of Ewsdale, in the over parish 
of Ews, and that in full of all sums of money that she could ask from her father. 

In virtue of the precept contained in the obligation by her father, Earl Walter, 
Lady Elizabeth Scott was infefted in the annualrent of £2000 Scots provided to 
her on the 11th September 1629. 1 

When in her twentieth year, Lady Elizabeth Scott married, contract dated 
1641, her cousin, John Lord Erskine, afterwards third Earl of Mar. By the con- 
tract for their marriage it was provided that Lady Elizabeth should be infefted in 
liferent in the lands and barony of Strathdone, with the castle of Kildrymie, the 
lands of Braemar, Cromar, and Strathdie, the superiority of the lordship and 
regality of Garioch, and the lands and barony of Kellie, worth yearly 
9000 merks Scots, and reserving the liferent of Lady Jean Hay, Countess 
of Mar, during the lifetime of Dame Marie Stewart, Countess of Mar elder; 
and while the two Countesses of Mar, elder and younger, were living, Lady 
Elizabeth Scott was to be infefted in an annualrent of 9000 merks Scots furth 
of the coals and coalheuchs of the lordship and barony of Alloa and lands of 
Bothkenner, the mails of the lordship of Stirling and stewartry of Menteith, 
assigned for keeping the castle of Stirling, and others. The lands of the earldom 
of Mar being entailed and provided to the heirs-male of Lord Erskine and his 
father the Earl of Mar, any female children who might be born of the marriage 
would therefore be entirely precluded from succeeding to their father. In the 
event therefore of female issue of the marriage, and in case it should happen that 
Lord Erskine should die without heirs-male of this marriage, he bound himself 
and his heirs-male successors to him in his lands, to pay to his daughters certain 
sums of money therein specified. 2 

Lady Elizabeth Scott constituted Lord Erskine her assignee to £20,000 Scots 
contained in a bond to her by her father, Walter, Earl of Buccleuch. She died 
without issue before 23d July 1647, when her husband granted a discharge to 
her brother Earl Francis for the said sum of £20,000, and also of 20,000 merks 

1 Original Instrument of Sasine, also Ex- - Extract Contract of Marriage, registered 

tract Bond of Provision, recorded in Books of in the Books of Council on 4th June 1647, in 

Council 27th July 163G, in Buccleuch Charter- Buccleuch Charter-room, 


in addition of his own good will, and from his affection for his sister and her 
husband his cousin, and for the weal and standing of the house of Mar. 1 

In the collection of the Mar family portraits at the mansion-house in Alloa 
Park, there is a portrait marked Lady Mary Scott, Countess of Mar. Lady Mary 
was the youngest sister of Lady Elizabeth, and the name on the portrait is pro- 
bably a mistake for that of Lady Elizabeth. 

2. Lady Jean Scott was born in January, and baptised 13th February 
1629. By a bond of provision, dated 2d April in the same year, her father, Earl 
Walter, provided Lady Jean Scott, his second lawful daughter, to an annualrent of 
2000 merks Scots out of the tenandryof Dunfedling, comprehending the lands therein 
specified, in the shire of Dumfries. Lady Jean was infefted in these lands on the 
10th September 1629. 2 When in her fifteenth year, she married John, Master of 
Yester, afterwards second Earl, and the first Marquis of Tweeddale. The contract 
for their marriage is dated at Edinburgh, 24th September 1644. It was made 
between the Master, with consent of John Lord Yester his father and Lady Jean 
Scott, lawful daughter of the late Walter, Earl of Buccleuch, with consent of 
Francis, Earl of Buccleuch, and his curators. John, Lord Yester, binds himself 
to infeft his son and Lady Jean in conjunct fee in the lands and barony of Lyne, 
in the parishes of Lyne and Stobs ; the lands of Edstoune, Jedburgh Field, and 
castle of Neidpath, etc., in the parish of Peebles, and other lands mentioned ; also 
to infeft Lady Jean in liferent in the lands of Beltane, which she was to possess 
in liferent in place of the barony of Lyne, after the decease of Dame Margaret 
Montgomerie, spouse of Lord Yester, with many other provisions. The Earl 
of Buccleuch paid as tocher with his sister 40,000 merks Scots, which was 
accepted by her promised spouse and Lord Yester in full of 20,000 merks to 
which she was provided by her late father, or anything else she could ask 
through the decease of her father or the decease of Lady Mary Scott, her 
j'ounger sister, or of Dame Marie Hay, Countess of Buccleuch, ber mother. 

Of that marriage there was a large family of seven sons and seven daughters, 
and the present Arthur, Marquis of Tweeddale, is the lineal heir-male of Lady 
Jean Scott and her husband. 3 As Lady Jean Scott and her brother, Earl Francis, 

1 Extract Discharge in Buccleuch Charter- 3 In the entrance-hall of Yester House 
room. there is a large painting containing portraits 

2 Original Bond and Instrument of Sasine of Lord and Lady Tweeddale, and their 
in Buccleuch Charter-room. numerous children. 


were the only two of the brothers and sisters who had children, and as he left only 
three daughters, two of whom died young, without issue, Lady Tweeddale became 
the presumptive heiress of entail to Lady Anna Scott, her niece, only surviving 
daughter of Earl Francis. The chance or prospect of the Tweeddale family 
succeeding to the dignities and estates of Buccleuch aroused considerable jealousy 
on the part of the branches of the Buccleuch family of the name of Scott, as it 
had been the wish of the Earl of Buccleuch to keep his dignities and estates in 
a separate line from the Tweeddale. Between these Scotts and the Earl of 
Tweeddale, several misunderstandings arose. These will appear in the Memoir 
of Mary, Countess of Buccleuch. 

3. Lady Mary Scott was born on the 11th of April 1631, and she died 
unmarried before 24th September 1644, as in the contract of marriage of her 
sister, Lady Elizabeth, of that date, the latter discharges all claims which she may 
have through the decease of her sister, Lady Mary. 

While Earl Walter was providing so liberally for his lawful children, he was 
not unmindful of several natural children. William Scott, the eldest of three sons, 
was acknowledged by his father. He was born several years before the marriage 
of his father and Lady Mary Hay. This appears from the Chamberlain Accounts 
for the year 1614, which contain entries of payments to the master of the school 
at Musselburgh, and the under doctor, for teaching William Scott, and also for 
his board at Musselburgh from October 1612 to October 1614. He attained so 
good a position that his father named and appointed him one of the tutors to his 
son and successor, Francis, second Earl of Buccleuch. William Scott obtained 
from his brother, Earl Francis, the lands of Mangerton, and he and his descend- 
ants were known as the Scotts of Mangerton. They were employed by their chief 
as chamberlains and otherwise in the management of the estates. 

To Francis Scott, the second natural son, Earl Francis provided the lands of 
Mangerton, with the castle, tower, and fortalice thereof, the lands of Flatt, Abitt- 
shaws, Schortbutholm, and Thorlishope, in the lordship of Liddesdale and shire 
of Roxburgh. The bond of provision by Earl Walter is dated 4th April 1629, 
and Francis Scott was infefted in the lands on 7th September 1629. 1 Francis 
Scott died at Rotterdam previous to January 1641, on which date Robert Angus, 
skipper, was repaid the sum of £293, 6s. 8d. disbursed by him for the funeral. 2 

1 Original Instrument of Sasine in Buccleuch Charter-room. 

2 Buccleuch Chamberlain Accounts. 


In the year 1648 Francis, Earl of Buccleuch, provided William Scott, his eldest 
natural brother, to the lands of Mangerton, as already mentioned. 

John Scott, a natural son, called younger, by Annas Drummond, 1 also received 
from his father a liberal education, and he was provided by his father to the lands 
of Gorrinberrie, with the castle or manor-place of the same, and the steadings of 
Markpatrickhope, Braidlees, and Turnrig, in the lordship of Liddesdale and shire 
of Roxburgh. The bond of provision by Earl Walter is dated 4th April 1629, 
and John Scott was infefted in the lands on 11th September 1629. 2 He was 
appointed by Earl Francis one of the tutors to Mary, Countess of Buccleuch, 
during her minority, and acted as Chamberlain for the lands of Liddesdale and 
the Debateable Land. He was ancestor of the Scotts of Gorrinberrie, many of 
whom acted for subsequent representatives of the Buccleuch family. He had a 
brother of the same name, as appears from a sum of £50 Scots having been 
advanced by him for the half-year's pension of " his brother John Scott," in the 
year 1656. Another John Scott, who was Provost of Creichton, received from 
Earl Francis, in the year 1643, a gift of 400 merks, " for advancing his fortoun." 
He died in 1646, and the escheat of bastardy was passed for behoof of the Earl. 3 

In these family arrangements Earl Walter showed his wisdom in providing 
his sons in properties near the frontiers of England, in Cannobie and Liddesdale, 
in the hope, no doubt, that they would prove protectors to his properties against 
any invasions of the English, or even of the hostile clans on his own side of the 
Border. David Scott, the second son of the Earl, did not survive to be of service 
to him. But the Lairds of Mangerton and Gorrinberrie, and their descendants in 
these estates, so long as they lasted, often did good service to their chiefs. Owing 
to the failure of the lines of Mangerton and Gorrinberrie, these estates were 
reacquired by the chief of the family, and again form part of the Buccleuch 

Margaret Scott, natural daughter of Earl Walter, married John Pringle, son of 
Robert Pringle of Stitchell. The contract of marriage bears date at Newark, on 

1 According to Satchells she was a cousin 3 This was probablj' a natural son of 
of the Earl of Perth. — Postral, p. 7. She the first Lord Scott, referred to in a letter 
married Mr. Patrick Grahame. She was his from Earl Francis to his aunt, Lady Ross. — 
widow on 19th January 1635. Memorials of the Montgomeries, vol. i. ]>. 

2 Original Instrument of Sasine in Buc- 261. 
clench Charter-room. 


the 31st August 1632. 1 Another daughter, Janet, married in 1643 Andrew Scott 
of Foulsheills, to whom Francis, Earl of Buccleuch, gave a tocher of 4000 merks. 
Jeane Scot, natural sister of Earl Walter, called by Satchells " Hollands Jean," 
married Eobert Scott of Quhitslaid, who, on 8th November 1633, granted a dis- 
charge to Earl Walter for 8000 merks of tocher with her. 2 

Walter first Earl of Buccleuch, on his death in 1633, was succeeded in his 
dignities and estates by his eldest son, Francis Lord Scott. 

1 Original Contract of Marriage at the 1632, he purchased a supply of " Catecheises 

Hirsel. Earl Walter attended to the educa- to the bairnes." 

tion of all his children, and he was not for- 2 Extract Discharge in Buccleuch Charter- 

getful of their religious training. In the year room. 



ttj^p — 


BORN 1626 : DIED 1651 . 

MARRIED 1646. DIED 1688. 




Born 1626. Succeeded 1633. Died 1651. 


T71RANCIS, second Earl of Buecleuch, was the second bom son of Walter, 
first Earl of Buecleuch ; but his elder brother, Walter, Lord Scott, 
having predeceased his father before 1629, Francis succeeded to the honours 
and estates of Buecleuch, on the death of his father, on 21st 
November 1633. He was born on 21st December 1626, and 
was scarcely seven years of age at the date of his succession. The 
name of Francis was obviously derived from that of his maternal 
grandfather, Francis, Earl of Errol. 

Francis, Earl of Buecleuch, was retoured heir to his father on 27th 
February 1634, in the lands and barony of Branxholm, the tenandry of 
Blakgraine, the lands of Feruiehope and Dryhope in the Forest, the lands of 
Hassenden, Dedrig, Easter and Wester Coppitrigs. Elvillane and Kirkstead, 
the lands and barony of Syntoun, the tenandry of Dunfedling, the lands and 
lordship of Ewesdale, and the lands of Quhithope, Drydane, and Comonside. 1 
On the same date he was retoured to the lands and lordship of Haills, 
Liddesdale, and other lands of the forfeited earldom of Bothwell. 2 

The Earl of Buecleuch being a minor at the date of his succession, the 
ward and marriage fell into the hands of King Charles the First, and were 

1 Retour stated in Inventory of Buecleuch Writs made up in 1679, in Buecleuch Charter- 
room. 2 Retour in Buecleuch Charter-room. 
VOL. I. 2 M 


granted by his Majesty to William, Earl of Stirling, then Secretary, on 2 2d 
November 1633. An arrangement was afterwards made in the year 1642 
between the Earl of Buccleuch and the Countess of Stirling, according 
to which the latter gave up her rights on payment of the sum of 25,000 
merks Scots. On arriving at majority, the Earl of Buccleuch, acting on the 
advice of Sir John Gilmour, afterwards President of the Court of Session, 
disponed the lands which had occasioned the falling of the ward and marriage 
to the Laird of Blackbarony, to beheld immediately of the King, the Earl and 
his advisers being persuaded that the ward and marriage of no heir succeed- 
ing to him could thereafter fall. 1 Soon after the death of Lady Mary Hay, 
Countess of Buccleuch, and in anticipation of the departure abroad of Earl 
Walter, Francis Lord Scott and his brother and sisters were placed under 
the care of their aunt, Lady Margaret Scott, Lady Boss, afterwards Countess 
of Eglinton, at Melville, near Dalkeith, then one of the mansion-houses of 
Lord Boss of Halkhead. Lord Scott and the younger children remained with 
their aunt for about four years, until Lord Scott, who had meanwhile suc- 
ceeded as Earl of Buccleuch, and his brother removed to St. Andrews, as 
students of that University, in the year 1636. 

The accounts of the Buccleuch Chamberlains show the terms on which 
Lady Boss " entertained " her nephews and nieces. For the year ending at 
Martinmas 1633, her ladyship was paid the sum of £2616, 13s. 4d. Scots for 
the " entertainment of my lords children." 2 The final payments to Lady Boss 
were made on the 25th of June 1636, immediately before the Earl and his 
brother went to St. Andrews. Lady Boss received 2750 merks, 320 merks 
as for the price of forty " wadderis " conditioned to her yearly for the enter- 

1 An Information of the Condition of the cleuch, there is one dated ISth December 
Family of Buccleuch, by Sir Gideon Scott of 1634, to Mr. Alexander Gibsoune, younger of 
Hey-Chester, p. 26. Original in Lord Pol- Durie, for 100 merks, "for putting of the 
warth's Charter-room. Scottish poeteis to the press, and that in 

2 Chamberlain Accounts in Buccleuch Char- respect thair is ane speciall peis thairin 
ter-room. Amongst the warrants for pay- vpoune this Erie of Buccleuch, his guidshir." 
ments by the tutors of Francis, Earl of Buc- Buccleuch Charter-room. 


tainment " and furnisching of Francis, Erie of Buccleuch, Lord David Scott of 
Cannabie his brother, and Lady Jeane Scott thair sister, and thair followeris 
and servandis quhatsumever in meit, drink, bedding, abuilziementes of their 
bodys quhatsumever, thair horsses and servandis fees quhatsumever," and that 
from Martinmas 1635 to the 25th of June 1636. 1 

The kindly nature of the young Earl, and his generous consideration for 
his governor and servants during his residence with Lady Eoss, appear in his 
juvenile letters. While only in his ninth year, he wrote with his own hand 
the following letter to Laurence Scott of Clerkington : — 

" Most Loueing Tutok, — My love being rememberit to you and your wife : 
Ye shall doe me the pleasur as to cause send some moneyes heir to me again 
Hansel Monday, that I may gratifie my master and other seruants. It sail please 
you also to send furth ane pair of sueet gloues. 2 So hoping ye will obey me in 
this requeist, I rest 

" Your loving freind, 


"Melvill, 31 December 1635. " i 

A few months afterwards the Earl wrote the following letter to his 
governor to send him money for the poor : — 

" James Adamsone, — I being heir at Melvin wanting money to give to the 
poore ; therfor be the advyse of Laurence Scot, it sail pleas yow to send me out 
some with the first occasioun. So hoping ye will fulfill my desire, I rest 

" Your Maister, 

" Btjccleuche. 
"Melvill, 26 March 1636." 4 

On leaving Melville, the Earl again shows his kindness for the household 
there, in the following letter written by him to the Laird of Clerkington : — 

" Sir, — We hear tel that my lady is purposed to remove vs to-morrow out of 
this. Wherfore I desyr you to cause send me some moneyes that at my pairting 

1 Original Discharge in Buccleuch Charter-room. 

2 The sweet gloves were ' ' For my Lady Ros doehter." — Buccleuch Chamberlain Accounts. 

3 Original Letter in Buccleuch Charter-room. 4 Ibid. 


■with my lady her seruants I may therwith gratifie them somewhat for ther kynd- 
nes to ws. As for my footman, ye sail be so good as to delay for to seek for 
another until I see if can get the favour of my lady to let Andrew Knag goe 
with me. Thus luking for the ansuer with this beirar, I rest 

" Your loving Minor, 


"Melvill, 23d June 1636." 1 

The affectionate esteem with which in after years the Earl continued 
to regard his aunt, the Countess of Eglinton, is shown in the following 
letter, written while he was acting as a member of the Committee of Estates 
with the Scots Army in England : — 

10th April 1644. 

Madame,— Having this occasione, bein so bound in dewty to your 
ladyship, I wold not pass without when oportunity offers to giue the 
testimony of my reall respect to yow, which whilst I breath sail euer be 
performed most affectionatly ; for when I haue the happines to heir of your 
good health, it puts noe little joy iu my breast, which sail euer burne with a 
fire unquencheable of treu zeall and loue uncheangeable towards your lady- 
shipe, whose unrequetable fauours shall neuer bee forgotten by him who is 
glad to be esteemed 

Your ladyship's affectionatt and humble servant, 


My lord is in good health for just now. I was with him yesterday. 2 
After my letters to you we marched ; and now are all encamped some 
one or two myles from Durhame. Their ar all the news I haue. 

From our Ligure, Apraile the 10, 1644, the name whereof I forgett in 

haist. 3 

1 Original Letter in Buceletich Charter- - Alexander, sixth Earl of Eglinton, coin- 
room. Andrew Knag referred to in that letter monly called Grey Steel, who was then at 
had been allowed to accompany the Earl. Newcastle with the Scots army. 
He was made Keeper of the Park of Dalkeith. 3 Memorials of the Montgomeries, vol. i. 
He was afterwards a pensioner of the Earl, p. 266. 
from whom he received £100 Scots yearly. 


Immediately on leaving Melville the Earl and his brother went to St. 
Andrews. He was then in his tenth year, and the arrangements for their 
entertainment at that ancient seat of learning appear from the papers which 
are still preserved. The Earl and his brother were put under the care of Mr. 
Eobert Lermonth of Saint Nicholas, advocate, and his wife Margaret Skene. 
On 29th June 1636, Lermonth and his wife granted a discharge, bearing to have 
received from James Adamsone, servitour to the Earl, the sum of 1250 merks 
money " afoir hand," for the " entertanement " of the Earl, his brother, Patrick 
Scott of Tanlahill their governour, Mr. Eobert Chisholme their pedagogue, 
William Scott page to the Earl, and their servants ; and for keeping of them 
in a sufficient lodging within the town of St. Andrews, whereby they may be 
brought up at the schools there, and for the entertainment of the Earl his 
brother, and their foresaid four followers sufficiently in bed, board, washing, 
and dressing of their clothes, and all necessaries belonging thereto, according to 
their ranks, and that for the space of a half year after the date of the discharge. 

Mr. Eobert Lermonth and his wife bound themselves upon their " honestie 
and credit " to deliver the Earl and David Scott his brother to their tutors 
when required. Sir John Murray of Eavelrig, knight, became caution for 
Mr. Eobert Lermonth and his spouse, that they would fulfil the whole con- 
ditions undertaken by them. 1 The Earl and his brother continued under the 
care of the Lermonths till Whitsunday 1640. An additional allowance of 
500 merks was paid to Mr. Lermonth by order of the Earl, dated 8th July 
1640; and also a loan of 300 merks. 2 Mr. and Mrs. Lermonth appear to 
have performed their duty to the Earl to his satisfaction, for he gave Mr. 
Lermonth a yearly pension of £240 Scots until his death. 3 He was survived 
by his wife, Margaret Skene, who was granted, on 12th August 1653, by the 
tutors of Mary, Countess of Buccleuch, 200 merks Scots in the time of the 
sickness and infirmity of Margaret Skene, in memory and thankfulness of her 

1 Original Discharge in Buccleuch Charter-room. 

2 Original Order and Receipt in Buccleuch Charter-room. 

3 Chamberlain Accounts in Buccleuch Charter-room. 


pains taken and service done to the late Earl of Buccleuch, when his lordship 
was at the schools and colleges of St. Andrews. 1 

After four years' education at the school of St. Andrews as arranged with 
Mr. Bobert Lermonth, the Earl, when in his fourteenth year, and his brother, 
were entered as students in the College of St. Leonard's, on the 7th of 
February 1640. On that day he gave his oath of fidelity, and subscribed 
the laws thus — 

Co ?K ef J^ra nczjc u^ A epeV^f 

He resided in St. Andrews, with the exception of occasional visits to his 
family mansions, until the summer of 1641, when he came to Edinburgh in 
order to take his place in the Parliament held in that year during the visit 
of King Charles the First to Scotland. At the close of the Parliament in 
November 1641 he returned to the university for the winter session, leaving 
St. Andrews finally in the year 1642. 

The Earl retained a kindly remembrance of his college, and the library 
of St. Leonard's College was greatly augmented by his gifts. 2 

Earl Francis, by appointment of his father, was bound to give his brother, 
David Scott, the sum of 3000 merks yearly, until he attained to his own 
estate, in full of his annuity of 500 merks yearly, and of his " abuilyementis " 
(clothes) and servants' fees, and other things requisite for himself and his 
servants. He therefore, by a precept to Patrick Scott, dated 10th January 
1646, ordered him to pay to David Scott 2000 merks, and at Martinmas 
following 1000 merks, and thenceforth 3000 merks yearly until he should be 
twenty-one years of age, and attain to his own means. 3 

The extensive purchase of additional lands made by Walter, first Earl of 
Buccleuch, had involved a large outlay ; and his active participation in the 
Dutch War of Independence interfered with personal control and manage- 

1 Original Discharge in Buccleuch Charter- 3 Original Precept and Receipt in Buc- 
rootn. cleuch Charter-room. 

2 llaitland Club Miscellany, vol. i. p. 305. 


meat of his extensive estates. The result was that after his death the tutors 
found that his affairs were in some confusion, and the estate burdened with 
the sum of 300,000 merks Scots at the time of the entry of his son, Francis, 
Earl of Buccleuch. A few years of careful management by the tutors, 
Scottstarvit, Harden, and Clerkington, were sufficient to clear the financial 
affairs of the estate from this temporary embarrassment ; and before the young- 
Earl was fourteen years of age, the estate was not only freed from burdens, 
but produced a free surplus of 500,000 merks Scots. This sum was invested 
iu the purchase of the lands and lordship of Dalkeith. 1 

The protracted negotiations, which had for their object the restoration of 
part of the Bothwell estates to Francis Stuart, son of Francis, Earl of Bothwell, 
have been noticed in the preceding Memoir of Earl Walter. King James the 
Sixth was desirous to further the interests of his relative, Francis Stuart, and 
that the affairs in question should be arranged amicably, with consent of the 
Earls of Buccleuch and Boxburgh, whom, his Majesty states in a letter of 
11th February 1622, he had ever found ready to submit their interests to his 
arbitration. His Majesty having learnt that Francis Stuart meant to take 
action in the courts of law for restitution of the Bothwell estates, and consi- 
dering that this was taking advantage of the clemency he had already shown 
him, gave instructions that no process should be granted by the Court of 
Session. At the request of the King and Charles, Brince of Wales, in 
December 1622, a portion of the Bothwell estates were disponed by Walter, 
Earl of Buccleuch, to James, Marquis of Hamilton, the King and Prince 
undertaking that no future action should be taken in respect of these lands to 
the prejudice of these Lords, without their special advice and consent. After the 
accession of King Charles the First, he wrote to Buccleuch on 2d April 1627, 

1 Ane Information to his Majesty concern- thousand merks, besides discharge of thirty 
ing the Family of Buccleuch, by the five thousand merks owing by the former pro- 
Tutors, given to the Lord Commissioner, prietor, the Earl of Morton, in all four hun- 
November 1662. Original in Lord Polwarth's dred and eighty thousand merks. — Buccleuch 
Charter-room. The sum paid for the lord- Chamberlain Accounts, 
ship of Dalkeith was four hundred and fifty 


informing him that he had been petitioned by Francis Stuart, who wished to 
submit his claims to the arbitration of his Majesty. The Earl of Eoxburgh 
had consented to this course, and the King requested the Earl of Buccleuch to 
do likewise, in order that a fair and friendly settlement might be concluded. 

The King having been informed that the approaching expiry of the Act 
of Parliament as to prescriptions would nullify any benefit which his Majesty 
should thereafter confer on the son of the Earl of Both well, instructed his 
advocate, in the event of that being the case, to procure from the Earls of 
Buccleuch and Eoxburgh, and the Marquis of Hamilton, renunciations of 
any benefit which might accrue to them from the expiry of these Acts. The 
King afterwards wrote to the Earl of Buccleuch on 20th October 1630, 
requesting his presence at Court for the settling of all differences concerning 
the claims of Erancis Stuart. 

The decision of his Majesty was given on 8th August 1631, and it sets 
forth that having compassion on the deplorable estate of Francis Stuart, in 
consequence of his father's fault (of which he was in no ways guilty), the King 
considered fit that a competent maintenance should be provided to him out 
of the forfeited estates. Having consulted the Lords who had the benefit of 
the forfeiture, and who had submitted the matter to his Majesty's decision, 
he declared that a valuation of the estates should be made, and the value 
divided into six parts, two parts to be allotted to Francis Stuart, to be taken 
respectively out of each of the foresaid Lords' possessions. For the avoidance 
of future strife, his Majesty enjoined that the division should be justly and 
equally made, giving every one his proportion in those parts which might be 
most convenient for his use. 

In accordance with this decision, instructions were given by the King to 
the Privy Council to proceed to a valuation of the forfeited earldom of 
Bothwell and the abbacy of Kelso. In order to facilitate their procedure, 
and for the more speedy settlement of these matters, the Council were 
instructed to appoint a committee of their number of those who resided near 
Edinburgh, so that the valuations could be settled with greater despatch. 


The report of the Privy Council was submitted to his Majesty on 13th 
November 1632. It relates that after sundry meetings for mutual proba- 
tion, led by both of the parties, Francis Stuart made offer and was content, 
for facilitating the trial, to refer the rental of the estate to the oaths of the 
Earls of Buccleuch and Boxburgh. Thereon he produced three books con- 
taining the names of the lands, which were given to the two Earls to have 
the rental filled in, which was accordingly done. 

The final adjustment was not effected till some years after the King's 
decreet and the report of the Council. After the death of Walter, Earl of 
Buccleuch, in November 1633, the King wrote to the Privy Council, desiring 
them to direct the tutors and curators of the children of the late Earl to 
appoint such of their number as they should think fit, to proceed to Court to 
settle finally in the King's presence the differences still undetermined. Sir 
John Scott of Scottstarvit, and Sir William Scott of Harden, repaired to 
London to confer with his Majesty touching the particulars of his decreet- 
arbitral. The King, writing to the Privy Council on 26th May 1634, states 
that on conferring with them he found them very willing to obtemper 
whatsoever he should ordain. In the same year the King, who took an 
active and personal interest in all the proceedings, described more fully his 
wishes in a communication to the Council. He decided that the Bothwell 
lands in the Lothians should be given up to Francis Stuart ; but as the 
rental of these lands exceeded the proportion of one-third allotted to him, he 
was enjoined to pay to the Earl of Buccleuch £1000 Scots for each hundred 
merks of the surplus more than the rental of 8500 merks. 

Part of the lands of the forfeited earldom of Bothwell was claimed by the 
Earl of Buccleuch as held by him otherwise than as a result of the forfeiture, 
and which, according to the terms of the King's decision, was not liable to 
any claim by Francis Stuart under the decreet- arbitral. Other minor points, 
in addition to this difference, retarded the settlement. The curators were 
again summoned to London by the King in 1636, as he desired the matter 
settled, in regard of the great pains he had heretofore taken in the cause. A 

vol. I. 2 N 


letter from the King, on 10th September 1637, shows that he was becoming 
impatient for the final determination of the disputes. He desires his advo- 
cate, if the tutors of the Earl of Buccleuch should prove refractory, to proceed 
with all diligence for advising the readiest way to possess Francis Stuart in 
the whole estate in Lothian, and in recovering the arrears of rent since the 
date of the decree. The King ordains that a commission should be granted by 
the Council for the examination of witnesses, many of them being of great age. 1 

The proceedings, however, were not so easily brought to an end, and a 
final settlement was not completed until the year 1647. A contract was 
made between Francis, Earl of Buccleuch, and Charles Stuart, grandson of 
Francis, Earl of Bothwell, with consent of the Earl of Winton and others, 
whereby they ratified the former rights of the Earl of Buccleuch in the lord- 
ship of Liddesdale and others. The sum of £50,000 was paid in November 
1647, by the Earl of Buccleuch to Charles Stuart, who made resignation of 
the lands of "Wilton, Chaniberlane-Newton, Tynside, Harwood, Slydhills, and 
Carlingpoole, in the sheriffdom of Eoxburgh ; the lands of Elmure, in Sel- 
kirkshire ; the lordship of Liddesdale, with the tower of the Hermitage, and 
the lands of Elvillane and Kirkstead. Proceeeding on this resignation, a 
charter was granted under the Great Seal, dated 10th November 1647, of the 
above-named lands, to Francis, Earl of Buccleuch. 2 

Francis, Earl of Buccleuch, married Lady Margaret Leslie, second daughter 
of John, sixth Earl of Eothes, and widow of Alexander, Lord Balgonie, 
eldest son of Alexander, first Earl of Leven. The contract of marriage, made 
by Earl Francis, with consent of his curators, and Lady Margaret Leslie, 
Lady Balgonie, with consent of John, Earl, afterwards Duke, of Eothes, her 
brother-german, is dated at Edinburgh, 25th July 1646. The Earl of Buc- 
cleuch thereby became bound to infeft her in liferent in the lands and 
barony of Eckfurd, Langtoun, Lempitlaw, the lands of Grymslaw, called 
Porterslands, with the pendicles respective, namely, Lurdonlaw, Holfield, 

1 Original Letters and Documents in Bue- 2 Original Letters and Papers in Buccleuch 

clench Charter-room. Charter-room. 


and Couanshill, with the mills, multures, manor-places, houses, and orchards 
in the shire of Roxburgh ; and in the lands and barony of Shirrefhall, with 
the teinds, parsonage, and vicarage, manor-place, houses, and orchards, in the 
shire of Edinburgh, reserving exclusively to himself, his heirs-male and of 
tailzie, the coal and limestone to be obtained by them within any part of that 
barony. Lady Margaret Leslie accepted the lands, so provided to her, in 
full satisfaction to her of all further conjunct-fee, liferent, terce, or any 
other thing whatsoever that she might ask or claim of the Earl, her affianced 
spouse, his lands, heritages, moveables, etc., belonging to his Lordship at the 
time of his or her decease. The Earl of Buccleuch further became bound 
that as his estate was provided to his heirs-male and of tailzie, in order to 
make competent provision for the daughters of the marriage, failing of heirs- 
male, to pay to the daughters, after his decease, the sums of money as 
follows : — Should there be only one daughter, 40,000 merks Scots ; should 
there be two, to the eldest 40,000 merks, and to the second £20,000 Scots ; 
should there be a third daughter, 20,000 merks ; and if there were more 
than three daughters, to the eldest £20,000, and to the rest £40,000 equally 
among them, and that at their perfect ages of fifteen years complete. In 
the meantime, the Earl further bound his heirs-male and of tailzie to educate 
and bring up the daughters honourably, according to their rank. The sums 
of money payable to the daughters were in full contentation to them of all 
lands, heritages, moveables, etc., that might pertain to them as heirs or 
executors to the Earl Francis, their father. 

On the other part the Earl of Buccleuch accepted with Lady Margaret 
Leslie, his affianced spouse, in name of tocher, her liferent right to the lands 
of Craigincat, with all other lands, annualrents, and others whatsoever be- 
longing to her. 1 These were the formal legal arrangements of the marriage. 
An account of the festivities on that occasion has been preserved, and may 
be here introduced as a specimen of the entertainment afforded on the union 
of two persons of high rank in the middle of the seventeenth century : — 
1 Original Marriage-contract in Buccleuch Charter-room. 







For carieing the tun of vine and pype of seek out of the seller to 

the bark, . . . . . . .£200 

Drink money to my Lord Balclewgh's men that brocht the two 

fallo deir, . . . " . . . .1368 

In drink money to my Lord Newtoun's man that brocht the dusson 

old capones, and the 58 pair dowes, with the thrie turkie 

foules, ....... 

To my Lord Annandaill's man that brocht the fatt wyld calve, 

For 3 dusson of speirs for running at the glove, . 

For William Broune's fraught over to Dundie when he went to 

seek wylde foules, . . . . . .060 

To a post to carry a letter fra Dundie to Glames to George Ramsay 

to fetch the wyld foules, . . . . . 18 

William Broune's fraught when he went over with the Earle of 

Crawfoord's silver plate that was at the brydell, . . 14 

Gevin for paying aff of the haill servands — fidlers, pypers, and 

others — that was at the mariage, and that by and attoure the 

drink money becaus there was too little thereof, . . 375 14 

Payd a particular compt of debursements debursit be Thomas 

Oliphant, ....... 

Payd David Jamiesone a compt for wark at the brydell, . 

Payd Hew Baillie a compt of debursements when he brocht over 

the sweetmeats, ...... 

To William Williamsone to go to Edinburgh to fetch wyld foules, 
More to him to go to Edinburgh about more provision, 
More to him when he went to Edinburgh about turkie foules, 
Drink money to my Lord Annandaile's man quho brocht the first 

buck, " . . . - . .568 

Drink money to my Ladie Balcaras' man that brocht the thrie 

wedders, 3 lambs, etc., . . . . .400 

To the Earle of Marr's servant that brocht the buck and the whyte 

calve in drink money, . . ■ • ■ 5 12 

To William Williamsone for fraught horss hyres, and others who 

brocht over the tuelf turkie foules, and the wyld foules, and 

the peares and plummes, . . . ■ • 5 12 
















More to my Lord Annandaile's man in drink money for another buck, £8 15 
For a liorss hyre that brocht the Solan geis, and some cunynings, 

out of Edinburgh to Leslie when my Lord Buckcleuth came first, 16 1 

Francis, Earl of Buccleuch, was at a very early age initiated into the 
administration of public affairs. At the age of fourteen he took his place 
among the nobles in the famous Parliament held at Edinburgh, which, with 
several adjournments, continued from May 1639 until November 1641. 
His name appears in the sederunt of 15th July 1641 ; in that of 17th 
August following, at which King Charles the First was present ; and also 
on 17th November, the concluding day of the Parliament. 2 From that time 
onwards he actively participated both in civil and military affairs during 
the great struggle between the King and the Parliament. When scarcely 
seventeen years of age he was appointed, on 26th August 1643, colonel of 
foot within the sheriffdoms of Roxburgh and Selkirk, and his lands in Dum- 
friesshire. He was also a member of the Committee of Estates, commissioned 
by the Parliament to organise the forces of the country and superintend the 
national defences, when they had decided once more to send an army into 
England. The Earl was also appointed, on 27th July 1647, to the office of 
Sheriff-principal of Selkirkshire, by grant of King Charles the First. 3 

The inclination of the Earl of Buccleuch to join the party of the 
Covenanters was suspected at an early date by King Charles the First, 
who, on 21st March 1639, when the Earl was only twelve years of age, wrote 
to his tutors as follows : — 

Charles R. — Trustie and vilbeloued wee greit you veil. Haueing hard that 
the Earle of Bucleugh had been induced to adhere to the cowrses of the Covenanters, 
which much displeased vs, ve ar nou vill satisfied to knou the contrarrie by our 

1 Account at Leslie House. Scots. A few weeks afterwards an entry 

2 Acts of Parliament, vol. v. pp. 308, 330. appears in the Chamberlain's Cash-book of 

3 Besides his many public duties, the Earl 40 Double Angels (S00 merks), " given to my 
interested himself in the sports of his time. lord himself when lie went to Coirper Race." 
In February 1643 he bought from Pringle of The chestnut horse was probably intended 
Stitchell a " chasten cullourit horse calit to take part in one of the races then not 
Datie," for which he paid the sum of £876 uncommon among the Scots nobles. 


seruant, S r James Scott, vhom vee trust, therefor vee vill you to giue him herty 
thanks in our name, and assur him from vs that vee vill be verry mindfull of his 
dutiefull carrage. In the meane tyme, it being requisite for the gud of our service 
in these troublesome tymes that you sould retire him to the parts vhere his estet 
and frindship do cheefly ly : It is our pleasure that you bring him to some of his 
houses in thos parts, vhereupone our further pleasure to be signified unto him by 
our tresseurrer or priue siele, he may be the mor ready and able to performe 
thesse things vhich tend to the good of our seruice, his oun standing, and . . . 
our favor, vee bid you farevill. From our Court at Vhithall, the 21 of March 1639. 
To our trusty and weillbeloued friends the tutors to our trust cusing, the 
Erlle of Bucluchge. 1 

The Convention of Estates having been divided into separate bodies, so 
that one portion might administer internal affairs, while the other marched 
with the army, the Earl of Buccleuch formed one of the committee which 
acted with and controlled the movements of the army advancing into 
England.' 3 The Earl would therefore be present when Newcastle was 
stormed and taken by the Scots army under General Leslie. His own 
regiment did good service during the siege and assault, and is noticed in 
a contemporary account of the attack on the town and fortifications : — 
" We had been so long expecting that these men within the town should 
have pitied themselves ; all our batteries were ready ; so many of our mines 
as they had not found out and drowned were in danger of their hourly 
finding out ; the winter was drawing on, and our soldiers were earnest to 
have some end of the business, which made the General, after so many 
slightings, to begin this morning to make breaches, whereof we had three, 
and four mines. The breaches were made reasonably low before three of 
the clock at night. All our mines played very well. They within the town 
continued still obstinate. My Lord Chancellor's regiment and Buccleugh's 
entered at a breach at Close Gate." 3 

1 Mr. John Lamont's Diary, p. 216. ing a relation of the taking of Newcastle by 

2 Acts of Parliament, vol. vi. part I. p. 213. storm, dated the 19th October 1C44." — 

3 "A letter from Newcastle, etc., contain- Newcastle Reprints. 

ftctfreen 'Pie t^^^MuUx 

Utfvivr pr Jecut, m ndbz J j mala 





Previous to the expedition into England, it appears that new colours were 
made for the Earl's regiment. In a former part of this work reference has 
been made to the banner of the Buccleuch family, which is known as the 
Bellenden Banner, as probably being the one referred to which was carried 
in the funeral procession of Walter, first Earl of Buccleuch. But it is 
probable that the banner which is now preserved in the family was that 
which was made for the regiment of Earl Francis previous to his march into 
England in the beginning of the year 1644 ; and if so, the new banner had 
been led through "paths of blood" in the furious storming of Newcastle. 
In the Chamberlain Accounts for February 1644, a payment occurs "for 
taffetie to my Lord's cullouris." 

The Bellenden banner was displayed at a more peaceful contest in the 
year 1815. At a great football match between the men of Yarrow and 
Selkirk, under the auspices of Charles, Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry, 
the venerable relic was again unfurled before the chief of the Scotts. The 
banner was delivered by Lady Ann Scott to Master Walter Scott, younger of 
Abbotsford, who attended suitably mounted and armed, and riding over the 
field displayed it to the sound of the war pipes. Sir Walter Scott of Abbots- 
ford, and James Hogg, the Ettrick Shepherd, were active participants in the 
sport, and made the occasion memorable by a poetical contest in celebration of 
the lifting of the banner. The verses by Sir Walter Scott were entitled 

" The Lifting of the Banner." 

" From the brown crest of Newark, its summons extending, 
Our signal is waving, in smoke and in flame, 
And each forester blithe, from his mountain descending, 
Bounds light o'er the heather to join in the game. 

Then up with the banner, let forest winds fan her, 

She has blazed over Ettrick eight ages and more ; 
In sport we '11 attend her, in battle defend her, 

With heart and with hand, like our fathers before. 


When the southern invader spread waste and disorder, 
At the glance of her crescent he paused and withdrew, 

For around it were marshalled the pride of the Border, 
The flowers of the Forest, the bands of Buccleuch. 
Then up with the banner, etc. 

A stripling's weak hand to our revel has borne her, 
No mail glove has clasped her, no spearmen surround 

But ere a bold foeman should scathe or should scorn her, 
A thousand true hearts would be cold on the ground. 
Then up with the banner, etc. 

We forget each contention of civil dissension, 

And hail, like our brethren, Home, Douglas, and Car, 

And Elliot and Pringle in pastime shall mingle, 
As welcome in peace as their fathers in war. 
Then up with the banner, etc. 

Then strip, lads, and to it, though sharp be the weather, 
And if, by mischance, you should happen to fall, 

There are worse things in life than a tumble on heather. 
And life is itself but a game at football. 
Then up with the banner, etc. 

And when it is over we '11 drink a blithe measure 
To each laird and each lady that witnessed our fun, 

And to every blithe heart that took part in our pleasure, 
To the lads that have lost and the lads that have won. 
Then up with the banner, etc. 

May the Forest still flourish, both borough and landward, 

From the hall of the peer to the herd's ingle nook ; 
And huzza, my brave hearts, for Buccleuch and his standard, 
For the King and the country, the clan and the Duke. 
Then up with the banner, etc. 

Quoth the Sheriff of the Forest." 

Abbotsford, 1st December 1815. 


The ode by the Ettrick Shepherd is inscribed — 

" To the Ancient Banner of the House of Buccleuch." 

"And hast thou here, like hermit grey, 

Thy mystic characters unrolled, 
O'er peaceful revellers to play, 

Thou emblem of the days of old ; 
Or comest thou with the veteran's smile, 

Who deems his day of conquest fled, 
Yet loves to view the bloodless toil 

Of sons, whose sires he often led t 

Not such thy peaceable intent, 

When over border waste and wood 
On foray and achievement bent, 

Like eagle on the path of blood. 
Symbol to ancient valour dear, 

Much has been dared and done for thee, 
I almost weep to see thee here, 

And deem thee raised in mockery. 

But no ! familiar to the brave, 

'Twas thine, thy gleaming moon and star, 
Above their manly sports to wave, 

As free as in the field of war. 
To thee the faithful clansman's shout, 

In revel as in rage, was dear, 
The more beloved in festal rout, 

The better fenced when foes were near. 

I love thee for the olden day, 
The iron age of hardihood, 
The rather that thou leddest the way, 

To peace and joy, through paths of blood, 
VOL. I. 2o 


For were it not the deids of weir 
i When thou wert foremost in the fray, 

We had not been assembled here, 
Rejoicing in a father's sway. 

And even the days ourselves have known, 

Alike the moral truth impress — 
Valour and constancy alone 

Can purchase peace and happiness. 
Then, hail ! memorial of the brave, 

The liegeman's pride, the Border's awe, 
May thy grey pennon never wave 

On sterner field than Carterhaugh, 

Quoth the Ettrick Shepherd." 
Altrive Lake, 1st December 1815. 

While the Earl of Buccleuch was present with the Scots army in England, 
the protection of his extensive estates in Scotland was not neglected. A 
considerable quantity of arms and ammunition had been stored in Newark 
Castle, in the Forest, at the commencement of the troubles ; and at a later 
period, during the absence of the Scots army in 1344, a large additional 
supply was obtained from the public magazines, for which a bond was granted 
by the Earl's representative for £3736, 13s. 4d. Scots, afterwards paid to the 
Government by his Lordship's direction. This addition to the stores 
was for the purpose of arming the tenants and vassals of Buccleuch in 
order to repel the invasion of Montrose, who attempted a diversion in 
favour of the royal cause, by invading and harassing the south Border, 
thinking thereby to effect the withdrawal of part of General Leslie's forces 
from England. The vassals and tenants of the Earl of Buccleuch were called 
out to resist Montrose by Sir William Scott of Harden and Sir Thomas 
Kerr of Cavers. An Act of Approbation was passed by the Estates on 11th 
June 1644, declaring that Sir William Scott and Sir Thomas Kerr had in all 
fidelity carefully and diligently carried themselves in convening the vassals 



and tenants of the Earl of Buccleuch, with other gentlemen of the county, 
in order to repel the invasion of Montrose. The Estates declare their whole 
actions and proceedings in that business as done for the honour of the 
country and of the good cause, and that they had deserved well of the public, 
and carried themselves as loyal subjects to the King, faithful servants to the 
Estates, and true patriots to the country. 1 

In 1643, the Committee of Estates, under their pecuniary necessities, 
applied to Francis, Earl of Buccleuch, for the loan of 9000 merks for the 
public service. This sum he granted. His order to Patrick Scot, writer in 
Edinburgh, to advance it out of the first and readiest of his rents to Sir Adam 
Hepburn of Huinbie, knight, their collector-general, is dated 31st August 
1643. He received from the Committee of Estates an obligation of the same 
date, acknowledging that he had paid 9000 merks to Sir Adam Hepburn of 
Humbie, in name of the public, and for the present necessary affairs and 
expedition thereof, and declaring that this sum should remain as a public 
debt upon the country, and binding them, in name of the Estates and the 
whole kingdom, to cause it to be repaid with a quarter's annualrent, before 
the 1st December following, to the Earl, his heirs and executors, with the 
annualrent thereafter during the nonpayment ; and declaring that this pay- 
ment should be out of the first and readiest of the sums of money which 
should be collected and received by the collector-general of the taxation 
lately granted for payment of the foot companies, or horse troops, or out of 
the remainder of the loan money, over and above what was already disposed 
upon, or out of any other money which should come from England for the 
use of the public. 2 

At a later period the Earl contributed towards the repayment of part of 
the large sums of money advanced for public use by Sir William Dick of 
Braid, a wealthy merchant of Edinburgh. A bond for 200,000 merks was 
subscribed by various barons and burgesses, Buccleuch's proportion being 

1 Acts of Parliament, vol. vi. part I. p. 101. 

2 Vol. ii. of this work, pp. 2S0, 2S1. 


4000 merks, which was paid by him on 7th August 1646. 1 The Parliament 
of 1647 passed an Act for the satisfaction and relief of those who had paid 
their proportion of this bond, out of the money payable by the English 
Parliament to the Estates, but it does not appear that the 4000 merks 
advanced by the Earl were ever repaid. 

Although the Earl was embarked in the cause of the Covenanters, he 
resisted demands which were made upon him to furnish more men and 
troopers than he was fairly bound to do. In the year 1644, the Lieutenant- 
General of the Parliamentary forces issued orders that the Earl of Buccleuch's 
men on his lands in the shire of Dumfries, to the number of 110, well 
furnished with arms, should serve as foot soldiers under the governor of the 
town of Dumfries, with a trooper well furnished, and a baggage-horse for 
every ten footmen. But a committee of the Estates of Parliament had 
appointed that the men to be levied within the Buccleuch lands in the shire 
of Dumfries should be under the command of the Master of Cranstoun, as 
the former levy had been under his own command, and consequently separate 
for these expeditions from the shire of Dumfries. The Buccleuch men were 
thus molested both by the Master of Cranstoun and the Governor of Dum- 
fries, who threatened that if Buccleuch did not answer their demands his 
lands should be plundered, and troops of horse put upon him to compel him 

The Earl of Buccleuch gave in a complaint to the Estates of Parliament, 
dated 29th June 1644. He represented that he had hitherto been ever most 
willing to prosecute the good cause in hand at the hazard of life and estate, 
and for that object he had adventured himself and done everything incumbent 
upon him. It was not unknown to their Lordships what danger his bounds 
had been in, and how ready all his friends, vassals, and tenants had been to 
encounter the invasions made upon the Borders by the English and their dis- 
affected countrymen. He complained that the charge put upon him was greatly 
disproportioned to the number of his men, the amount of his rent in these 

1 Chamberlain Accounts, Buccleuch Charter-room. 



bounds, and their Lordships' orders, which fixed the number of men he ought to 
provide in proportion to the male population of the several parishes, and which 
would amount only at the most to sixty men, or thereby, as would appear from 
the several rolls of all the men within the parishes, subscribed by the several 
ministers thereof. He further asserted that he was not bound, as the Governor 
of Dumfries wrongously craved, to provide a trooper and a baggage horse for 
every ten footmen, inasmuch as the number of troopers and baggage horses 
ought to be proportioned to the valued rent of the places from which they were 
appointed to be levied, and not to the number of men residing there. He could 
thus make it appear that the number demanded was very exorbitant, and not 
proportioned to his rent in those places, and the orders issued. He therefore 
besought their Lordships to discharge both the Master of Cranstoun and the 
Governor of Dumfries to trouble him, his friends, vassals, and tenants any 
more with their exorbitant demands, and to command one of them to accept 
from him, as their Lordships should appoint, the number of sixty men, after 
trial and production of the rolls, with such a number of troopers and baggage 
horses as corresponded to the valued rents of the bounds, according to the 
public orders issued and observed tlirough the whole kingdom. 1 

It was found by the committee that the Earl's complaint was well 
founded. The committee appointed for the levies found that the foot and 
horse ought to go along with the others of the shire, and would therefore 
belong to the Master of Cranstoun and not to the Governor of Dumfries. 
They also found that the Earl of Buccleuch should provide only the half 
of the men and horse which had been demanded in the first expedition, 
and that the number of the troop horses should be proportioned to the rents 
and the number required within the shire. The Committee' discharged all 
commanders and officers from exacting any further. 2 Orders, dated at Jed- 
burgh, 5th July 1644, were given by the committee of war for the shire of 
Roxburgh to Walter Scott of Braidhauch, bailie to the Earl of Buccleuch, of 
the four kirks of Eskdale, Ewisdale, and the Debateable Land belonging to 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 281. 

3 Ibid. pp. 2S1-2S3. 


the Earl, between the date of that order and Friday, the 12th of the month, 
to convey the soldiers levied from these parishes to Crailing, to the Master 
of Cranstoun, their appointed colonel, each bringing with him twenty days' 

At a later period of the Civil War, the Committee of Estates decided to 
equip an army on purpose to invade England and rescue the King from his 
captivity. This expedition, known as " The Engagement," was intended to 
form a nucleus round which the scattered remnants of the King's friends, 
and the more moderate of the Parliamentary party in England, might unite. 
It was opposed by a strong minority, who objected to any intercommuning 
with " maUgnants." A considerable army was raised, which invaded England, 
under the command of James, Duke of Hamilton, and Lieutenant-Generals 
Middleton and Baillie. The scheme did not meet with the support in 
England which had been expected, and the army, being attacked at Preston 
by the Parliamentary forces under Cromwell, was totally routed. 

During the absence of the expedition of the " Engagers," the minority of 
the Estates, headed by the Marquis of Argyll, strained every effort to raise 
an army, and General Leslie having combined the levies into a compact force, 
the scattered remnants of Hamilton's returning army were easily mastered. 
The Earl of Buccleuch was among the first who, with his friends and 
followers, appeared in arms against the broken forces who returned from 
England. 1 Bishop Guthrie records that on 12th September 1648 the 
western army followed westward [from Stirling], and at night reached 
Falkirk ; and with them David Leslie, Colonel Kerr, Hepburn, and other 
soldiers of fortune that now had joined them, besides additional helps they 
had from divers of the gentry of Fife, and many more from the south, 
especially from the Earl of Buccleuch and his friends of the name of Scot. 2 

Whilst the Earl was quartered at Falkirk he wrote the following letter to 
his Countess, which throws some light on the negotiations which were then 
in dependence : — 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 306. 2 Guthrie's Memoirs, p. 291. 

&! I^S^ 

% s <H*^ 









" My deirest Heart, — It is unexpressible joy to my heart to hear that you 
are weill, for nothing troubls me so much as that I sould be so long from you, 
since your sweet company is the greatest, yee, I may justly say, the only content- 
ment I have one earth. You neid nott doubt bott when I haue occasione I will 
nott lett any pass without satisfiing my selfe so much as to lett yow know how 
desyrous I am, and how much I long to bee with yow, which I trust in God sail 
bee shortly, if wee and the othir party agrie, which the Lord of his infinit goodnes 
and mercy grant ; for as I wrott to yow yesterday, ther was a treatty appoynted, 
bott it was very lait in the evening before they that ar commissioners from us went, 
whose nams are the Earle of Cassilis, Waristoune, Sir John Cheisly, M r Robert 
Barcley. They ar nott corned back yett this morning, bott what passes, God 
willing, I sail lett yow know by the nixt occasione ; only this much I sail say, that 
if ther wer not too rigide peiple amongst us heir, I beleive wee wold soone agrie. 
My deirest heart, if yee wold haue me to haue a cair of my selfe, lett no thing 
trouble yow ; and haue a care of your owne health, for what ever conditione yow 
ar into yee sail be assured that I will always bee in the same, who sail neuer bee 
other then, 

My deirest heart, 

Your most affectionatt, 


"Falkirk, September 15, 1648." 1 

Francis, Earl of Buccleuch, acted with the party who were opposed to the 
proceedings of the Duke of Hamilton, and was present at the meeting of 
Parliament held at Edinburgh on 4th January 1549, which disclaimed and 
repealed all Acts of the late " unlawful! engadgement." This Parliament 
instructed their commissioners at London to protest against any sentence for 
taking the life of the King, declaring the Estates aud kingdom of Scotland 
free from any such act, and all the calamities and miseries that might follow 
therefrom to both kingdoms. 

Immediately after the receipt of the news of the fate of King Charles the 
First, the Parliament at Edinburgh, on 5th February 1649, ordained the 

1 Original Letter in Lord Polwarth's Charter-room. 


proclamation of King Charles the Second. The records of the various Par- 
liaments held at Edinburgh, Perth, and Stirling, show the assiduous attention 
of the Earl to his Parliamentary duties. Besides being a member of the 
Committee of Estates, he acted on many of the committees for the adminis- 
tration of both civil aud military affairs, assisting in the organisation of a 
new army after the defeat at Dunbar. The Earls of Buccleuch and Lothian 
were made colonels of the regiments raised in the sheriffdoms of Eoxburgh, 
Selkirk, and Peebles. On the arrival of King Charles the Second in Scotland, 
in 1650, Buccleuch was appointed as a commissioner, with the Earl of Cassillis, 
and others, to congratulate his Majesty on his " happy arrivall " in the 
kingdom. He was present at the conclusion of the second Parliament of 
King Charles the Second, at Stirling, in July 1651, which preceded the march 
of the Scots army that ended in the conclusive defeat at Worcester. 1 The 
Earl did not on this occasion proceed with the army, but remained in 
Scotland as a member of the Committee of Estates, to administer internal 
affairs during its absence. 

Cromwell having departed from Scotland in 1651 in pursuit of the 
Scottish army, General Monck was left in command of a considerable force, 
for the purpose of completing the reduction of the country, which was now 
a comparatively easy matter since the departure of the Scottish troops. The 
town of Dundee then became a place of refuge for the fugitives, who fled 
there from various parts of the country with their money and valuables. 
The duties of the Earl demanded his presence in Forfarshire, as he had been 
appointed by the Estates one of the judges of the efficiency of the troops in 
that shire, when the new levies were raised north of the Forth after the 
battle of Dunbar. 2 His Countess accompanied him and was among the number 
of those who sought safety in Dundee. It was in that town that Anna, their 
youngest daughter, afterwards Duchess of Buccleuch and Monmouth, was 
born. Immediately before the siege of Dundee by Monck in August 1651, 
the Earl and Countess proceeded to Aberdeen. By his absence at that time 

1 Acts of Parliament, vol. vi. part II. p. 685. 2 Ibid. p. 625. 

Z 1 '° 



flv&rr*^ /*f~»- 

^^V °(t ^^ — *— -*A. 



he escaped the fate of a number of his colleagues of the Committee of 
Estates, who were surprised at Elliot and taken prisoners by a party of 
horse detached by Monck from the siege of Dundee. Among the number 
were the Earls of Leven, Crawford, Marischal, and other noblemen and 
gentlemen. Several of the clergy were also seized on that occasion, includ- 
ing Eobert Douglas and James Sharp, afterwards Archbishop of St. Andrews. 
A small remnant of the party, under the name of the " Committee of Estates," 
continued to make unavailing efforts to rally together their friends. Buccleuch 
was one of those who, from Aberdeen, sent out letters for that purpose. 

Much surprise has been felt that the fine imposed by Cromwell on the 
successor of Earl Francis was so much in excess of the sums levied from 
others of his party. The Countess Mary, who succeeded him, was fined 
£15,000 sterling, which was £5000 more than was demanded from any of 
the others fined. A perusal of one of the letters sent out from Aberdeen 
on the occasion above mentioned, which has lately been discovered, will 
sufficiently explain the exasperation of Cromwell and his party, who are 
there characterised as "a handfull of bloody traytors." The name of 
Buccleuch stands first on the list of signatures to this document. The letter 
here given was sent by the Committee of Estates at Aberdeen to David, 
second Earl of Wemyss. 

Aberdeen, 30 August 1651. 

Eight Honotjrabill, — Wee being mett heire vpon occasione off the late 
disaster at Eliot, quher many of the memberis of the Comittie of Estaitis and 
Commissioneris of the Generall Assembly were surprysed and takin prisoneris by 
the enemie, vpon Thursday last ; and considering the sad conditione the kingdome 
is now brought into, wee haue fund ourselffes obleidged in duety to giue your Lord- 
ship notice thairoff, and to desyre yow, as yow wisch religioune to bee preserued, or 
this kingdome to be keeped from being totallie ouerrune be a handfull of bloodie 
traitoris, yow will furthwith, vpon sight heireof, repaire to Strathbogie, or any 
vther place quher the comittie sail happen to be for the tyme, that, according 
to the trust committed to yow and ws be the King and Parliament, for gouernement 

vol. I. 2 P 


of the effairis of the kingdome, wee may joyne for the preseruatione of this king- 
dome, and of all that is deire or neire to ws, in this day off trouble. 
Wee rest your Lordship's assuired freindis, 


S B E. Innes. S b T. Nicolson. 

S. A. G. Durie. J. Arnott of Ferny. 

A. Belsches. Eo. Farquhar. 

S. Ja. Murray. J. Smyth. 
Geo e Jameson. 

For the Eight Honorable The Earle of Weimes — These. 1 

Further examination, however, afterwards disclosed the fact that the Earl 
of Buccleuch was not so responsible for the contents of these letters as at 
first appeared. He had signed them all in blank. The circumstances are 
fully described in a letter from Sir James Murray, one of the signatories who 
was present, to Sir William Scott of Harden. 

Worthie Sir, — For ansvyre to your letter whairin yow desyre me to call 
my self to remembrance iff the laitt Earle Bucleuch dide subscrive any letters att 
Aberdein fra the committie to any persone. For answyre — The said Earle and 
his Ladie in August came to Aberdein, and thair abood untill efter he hard thes 
noblmen and uthers wer taken att Elliott, who immediatlie efter hearing thereof 
resolved to retire to Balvenie House, belonging to his brother-in-law, the Earle of 
Eothes, quhilk accordinglie he did with such suddain resolution that iff I hade 
knowne therof bott some few hours befor I had gane alongst with his Lordship. 
For itt wes upon the Saterday efter the taking of thes noblemen att Elliott, being 
in the end of August or beginning of September, thatt many did resort to Aberdein 
and keiped committie, wher desyring the said Earle to come, I being then with 
his Lordship and Ladie in thair lodging, he excused himself because of his sending 
some servants befor him, and his necessitie to follow, and this wes aboutt thrie 
efter noon. Wherupon again thes of the committie did send Sir Archibald 
Primrose to gett his hand to letters that wer to be sent. His Lordship wes 
then soe resolvett on his journey thatt he told to Sir Archibald he could not stay, 
bot wold subscryve the blank paper, and trust to him as a man of honnor and 

1 Original Letter in Buccleuch Charter-room. 


fidelitie to mak bott use of his name in thes letters as he wold deserve his trust. 
To all this I wes a witness, and therefter went and convoyed my Lord and Ladie 
to thair horse, and is all I can remember his Lordship did in relation to the 
publick. And is all I can wrytt or say for the present, bott that I ame 


Your reddie servant, 

Ja s Murray. 
Edinbrugh, 23 October 1654. 

To his worthy and much respected freind, Sir W m Scott, elder of Harden — Thes. 1 

This statement of Sir James Murray is corroborated by Sir Archibald 
Primrose, in a letter written by him at the instance of the tutors of the 
Countess of Buccleuch, to further the proceedings for reduction of the fine. 

Edinburgh, 4 Apryl 1654. 
Sir, — By your lettre of the 1 of this moneth, yow desyre to know what I 
remember concerning the Earl of Bucleuch's cariage at a meiting of the committee 
at Aberden in the end of Agust 1651, and that his Lordship had declard in his 
own lyftime, that being accidentallie in Aberden at that tyme, and called to the 
meiting after a short stay, he desyrd to be gone, it being towards night, and his 
familie on ther removal to the countrey. Bot being vrged to stay vpon the 
signeing of some dispatches which were not then in reddiness, he wes necessitat 
(to haue libertie to go) to signe some blank papers, which he left to be filled vp 
and signd be the rest of the comittee. 

Sir, I doe verie weele remember of the meiting and occasion of it, and that 
ther were some papers signed by my Lord blanke at his removall, which were 
therafter, that same night, filld vp and signd be the rest of the comittee. This is 
the returne of that yow sent to, 

Your affectionat freind to serue yow, 

A. Primerose. 
To his honord and worthie freind, Patrick Scot of Langshaw. 2 

These letters from Sir James Murray and Sir Archibald Primrose, exoner- 
ating the Earl of Buccleuch from responsibility for the contents of the 
1 Original Letter in Buccleuch Charter-room. 2 Ibid. 


papers signed by him under the peculiar circumstances above described, 
were of great service in procuring the reduction of the fine levied on the 
Earl's successor, the amount being reduced from £15,000 to £7000, and 
subsequently to £6000. 

The incident above narrated shows that the Earl was one of the last to 
give up the cause, to which he proved a staunch and consistent adherent, even 
when it appeared hopeless, and which he actively served until within a few 
months of his death. 

The proceedings taken to procure the mitigation of the fine produced a 
number of attestations, some of them from political opponents, which are 
interesting as throwing some light on the conduct of the young Earl of 
Buccleuch, and the high estimation in which he was held by his contempor- 
aries. One of these documents, subscribed by Lord Burghly, Sir James Hope, 
Murray of Blackbarony, and others, states that " the Earl of Buccleuch, ever 
since his coming forth to public view in the world until his death, which 
was in the twenty-fifth year of his age, was always looked upon as a grave 
and pious young nobleman, who, as he studied the advancement of the power 
of godliness among those he had interest in, countenancing and encouraging 
all such, and was very instrumental in the public work undertaken for 
religion and liberty, so he was always an enemy to those courses which 
manifested anything in them of prejudice to those interests." The Earl of 
Lothian in a similar memorial, dated "Newbattle, 25th September 1654, 
attests that "the late Earl of Buccleuch from his very youth, gave testimony 
of his love to religion, and that he was uprightly affected for the maintenance 
of it, and of the privileges and liberties of his country ; and this appeared 
publicly in the Parliament held in this land in the year 1641, when he was 
hardly sixteen years of age, and as he grew up, so did his zeal and good 
carriage increase, which was of no mean effect for the affairs that were 
in hand in those times in this land, for being a man very eminent and 
powerful, his countenance and concurrence was very useful in the defence of 
the country and carrying on the assistances [which] were given to England. 


whither he led a regiment of his friends and followers in the year 1643, and 
still continued constant and active in promoting the ends of the League and 
Covenant, and in opposing all that was opposite and cross to it in relation to 
England or in this land, and when the unlawful Engagement was in the year 
1648, he was one of the first that rose in arms against the carriers on and 
prosecutors of it." Another of the memorials, subscribed by a number of 
names, attests that in the year 1643, "altho verie young, he prefered the 
publict good to his worldly interess, and to the standing of his awine familie, 
by hazarding his persone and undergoeing the toyll of war for the assistance 
of England, being ane colonell of a regiment, in which war his engadgeing 
wes verie exemplarie to otheris ; and besyde his being in armes with his 
freindes and followeris in the year 1645 for the defence of this kingdome, 
when it wes overrune by the Yrishe and unnaturall countriemen, and few or 
none appearing in behalf of the country againes these ennemies." 1 

After the defeat of the Scots army at Dunbar in 1650, the invading force 
of Cromwell took possession of the castles of Newark and Dalkeith. Precau- 
tions had been taken for the preservation of the muniments, plate, and the 
more valuable of the plenishings, which were conveyed to the fortress on the 
Bass Eock, where they remained in safety until the year 1652. An order 
was then procured from General Lambert for the removal of the Charter- 
chest and other property to Sheriffhall House, near Dalkeith, to which the 
Countess of Buccleuch had removed with her children. 2 Dalkeith Castle 
had been given up for the residence of the English Commissioners. 

Hearing that, in the distracted state of the country, the farmers of the 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, pp. 302-306. silver to be distribut among the souldiers of 

- 29th December 1651. — " Givine to Mr. the Basse for importing, keiping, and export- 

Smallwood, Lambert's cbaplane, for purches- ing of the Chairter-kist to and froe and in the 

ing Lambert's order and pass for getting the Basse, £720 Scots." — Buccleuch Chamberlain 

Chairter-kist, wryttis, and plenisching out of Accounts. An inventory of the plate and 

the Basse, 25 Double pieces" (500 merks Scots). " household plenyshing left unplundered by 

29th May 1652. — " To James Anderson, the Inglishes " will be found in vol. ii. of 

servitor to the laird of Wauchtone, of drink- this work, pp. 289-292. 


Lothians meant to delay the cultivation of their fields, the Earl wrote from 
Branxholme, a few weeks after the battle of Worcester, to his bailiff at 
Dalkeith, in order to induce his Dalkeith tenants to continue to work their 
lands as usual, promising to indemnify them for any losses they might 
sustain in consequence. 

Eobert Mitchelsone (Bailiff of Dalkeith). 

My wyffe shows mee that yee haue told her of the course the tenents off 
Lothiane mynds to take in setting [1 letting] ther maister's lands lye. Yow sail 
therefor show my tenents in Dalkeith if they will labor my land still they sail 
find als much fauour off mee as any tenents in Lothiane sail gett from ther 
maister, so remitting this to your caire, I rest, 

Your assured Freind, 


Branxholme, Oct. 11th, 1651. 1 

The vigorous measures which had been taken by the first Lord Scott of 
Buccleuch and others, after the succession of King James the Sixth to the 
throne of England, to restrain the marauding habits of the Borderers, had 
produced comparative security to the peaceful inhabitants of Liddesdale and 
the neighbouring country. The depredations which occurred during the time 
of Walter, first Earl of Buccleuch, were confined to very narrow limits. 
Audacious thefts were, no doubt, occasionally committed, but they were 
insignificant when compared with the raids of former times. The more 
common complaints were of the character related in the previous memoir, 
consisting of the loss of "ane kow," or small quantities of household or 
farm property. The civil contentions during the reign of King Charles the 
First gave an opportunity for the dormant propensities of the Borderers to 
break forth again, and the resulting depredations soon assumed alarming 
proportions. Measures were of necessity taken to repress these marauders, 
but in consequence of the exigencies of the Civil War, these attempts were 
intermittent and ineffectual to control the moss-troopers of Liddesdale. 
1 Original Letter in Buccleuch Charter-room. 


Francis, Earl of Buccleuch, was appointed, in 1645, justiciar over a very 
extensive district of this disturbed portion of the country. His commission 
gave him powers to appoint officers and hold courts of justice, at such times 
as he thought expedient, within the bounds of the lordship of Liddesdale, the 
parishes, of Cassiltoun, Canonbie, called the Debateable Land ; Stapelgorton, 
called Eskdaill ; Over and Nether Ewes, called Ewesdaill ; Wauchope, called 
Wauchopdale ; Watskirker, called Eskdalemuir ; Waltoun, and Askirk ; the 
parish of Ettrick, except what belonged to Lord Yester ; the parish of St. 
Mary's Kirk of the Lowes, called Yarrow Kirk, except the part belonging to 
the Earl of Traquair ; the parish of Selkirk, except such as pertained to the 
Marquis of Douglas and the Earl of Eoxburgh ; the parish of Hassinden and 
Cavers, except what belonged to the Earl of Eoxburgh, Lord Cranstoun, and 
the Sheriff of Teviotdale ; and the parish of Hawick, not including the lands 
of the Earl of Queensberry and his vassals. In accordance with these powers, 
the Earl of Buccleuch caused proclamation to be made at the various market 
towns of the district within his jurisdiction, and held Courts at Selkirk and 
other towns for the dispensation of justice. 1 

A few extracts from the indictments and informations of the years 1645 
and 1646 will show the nature and extent of these depredations, which 
were not confined to the Scottish side of the Border, but extended into 
Eedesdale and Tynedale on the English side. The principal leaders of these 
raids were Armstrongs and Elliots, and the following examples are taken 
from a list of robberies committed by those of the former surname : — ■ 

" Symon Armstrang, called of Whitlisyde, Geordie Armstrang, called of 
Kynmount, Hutchen Armstrang, called Old Sandie's Hutchene, Will and 
Francis Armstrangs, called of Woodhead, ... did steal out of Meikle 
Swinburne Park, in Northumberland, fyftie kye and oxen, pertaining to 
Thomas Chatta, in Swinburne." " Syme Armstrang of Whitlisyde, and his 
partners, did steal out of the Euken, in Eidsdale, four score of sheep." Having 
brought them through Tynehead, along the back of Flights-fell, and in at 
1 Original Commission in Buccleuch Charter-room. 


Cashope-head, they left them and went in search of food ; but the owners had 
closely followed them, and on the return of the marauders the sheep were 
gone. This Sym Armstrong of Whitlisyde made his house a rendezvous for 
resetting and entertaining " all the fugitives, outlaws, and moss-troopers that 
come either from England or Ireland, or are upon the Borders of Scotland," 
and seems to have held at his house a regular " tryste " or market for the 
disposal of the stolen cattle, as we are told that all these " malefactors, from 
whence soever they come, doe meete to tryste and trade about their stollen 
blocks and barganes." 1 

They occasionally went in such numbers as to offer a formidable resistance 
to any attempt that might be made to recover stolen goods. A number of 
Armstrongs, and " others their complices, to the number of fyftie or thrie 
score of men, did, about twelve hours of the day, drive out of the lands of 
Emblehope " three score of oxen. The same party shortly afterwards took 
four- and- twenty horses belonging to the same proprietor, and also ten horses 
and mares, and a stallion valued at £20 sterling. This gang, augmented to 
the number of about eighty men, drove away openly in the day time " twelve 
or thretten score of nolt, with a great number of horse and meares," belonging 
to the Charltons of Tynedale. On another occasion, twenty-seven score of 
sheep were taken from the lands of Bygate Hall, which were, however, re- 
covered by those who followed the raid. 

The sleuth-hound was frequently made use of to track robbers. Elliot of 
Park and Henderson of Catheugh one night surprised two horsemen among 
their goods, on whom they raised the fray. One Matthew Robison and his 
brother had j ust returned from an excursion into the Debateable Land after 
some cattle of their own, and had a sleuth-hound with them. The sleuth- 
hound was cast into the track of the horsemen, who had fled on being 
challenged at Catheugh and Cringlefold, until they came to Carshope, 
from whence they stole threescore sheep. On being overtaken by their pur- 
suers, they were forced to leave the sheep and once more take to flight. The 

1 Judicial and other Papers in Buccleuch Charter-room. 


hound, however, never lost trace of them, and they were ultimately run to 
ground at Bruntsheills, where they were taken, and found to be Hutchen 
Armstrong and Eob Donaldson, in Eeedbank upon Esk. Their captors pre- 
sently after let them go. " Upon what conditions," the memorandum states, 
" those who took them can best declare." 1 

The pursuit of the moss-troopers did not always end so peacefully, but 
frequently resulted in bloodshed. The Armstrongs of Kinmont, with their 
accomplices, to the number of sixteen mea, stole from the lands of Punder- 
shaw, in Northumberland, fourscore kye and oxen. The friends and 
servants of the owner, Mr. Cuthbert Hearon, mustered for the pursuit, and 
about sixty men followed the robbers into the Debateable Land. Mr. 
Edward Charlton of Antoun Hill, one of the pursuers, was attacked by John 
Armstrong of Parkknow, and Geordie, his brother ; and the former having 
fired two pistols at him and missed, Charlton fired his carbine at John Arm- 
strong and killed him, " whereupon the whole crew of Kinmonts and the 
rest of the country people did rise," and gave chase to Charlton, who fled for 
his life. At the end of two miles he was overtaken and brought back, through 
Liddell to Burnmouth, and being then informed that Parkknow was dead, 
four of the Armstrongs of Kinmont fell upon Charlton and murdered him. 
Immediately afterwards two more of the pursuers were slain, and another 
left for dead. 2 

Hutchen Armstrong, already mentioned, appears frequently in the com- 
plaints. With another of the same clan, he broke into the house of Mr. Thomas 
Alane, minister of Wauchope Kirk, and after beating him and his wife "verie 
pitifullie," took away two horses. Hearing that the minister intended to 
charge them with the robbery, and to " save their credit for feare of the 
Earle of Buccleugh, who now was become Master of the lands of that parish," 
they "dealt with a steale fellow of their owne on the English syde, one Perse 
Howme, a notorious outlaw, and as great a moss-trooper as themselves," to 
take the blame of the theft. Howme did so, "and openlie avowed that the 
1 Original Memorandum in Buceleuch Charter-room. - Hid. 

VOL. I. 2 Q 


minister should never have so much as a hare of one of his horses tailes 
againe, unles he did give him fyve pounds sterling," which sum the minister 
had to give him before recovering his horses. The Armstrongs of Kinmont 
and their accomplices appear very frequently and prominently in all the 
complaints of this period. In a list of the names of those who were out- 
lawed for non-appearance at the Justice-Court of Jedburgh, before the Earl 
of Buccleuch, on 18th November 1645, containing the names of forty-seven 
persons, sixteen of them were Armstrongs. A memorandum of those "tbocht 
evill anes " in the parish of Canonbie, shows a similar predominance of that 
surname. 1 

Occasionally a humorous incident relieves the monotony of the long roll 
of robbery and bloodshed. Lancie Armstrong, called of Catheugh, Geordie 
Eackesse, and several others, had made a successful foray across the English 
Border, and were driving homewards, on the Sunday forenoon, about eighty 
oxen which they had seized. At Chiffonberrie Crage " a poore English curate, 
who had some beasts in that drift taken frome him, following them, desyred 
them earnestlie to let him have his twae or thrie beastes againe, because he 
was a kirk man. Geordie Eackesse, of the Hillhouse, laughing verrie merrilie, 
wist that he had all the ministers of England and Scotland as far at com- 
mand as he had him, and withal bade him make them a litle preaching, 
and he sould have his beastes againe. ' Oh ! ' says the curate, ' good youthe, 
this is a verie unfit place for preaching ; if yow and I were togither in 
church, I wold do my best to give content.' ' Then,' said Geordie, ' if yow 
will not preach to us, yet yow will give us a prayer, and we will learne yow 
to be a moss-trooper.' This the curate still refused. ' If yow will neither 
preach nor pray to ws,' said Geordie, ' yet yow will take some tobacco or 
sneising [snuff] with ws.' The curate was content of that, provydeing they 
wald give him hys beasts againe, which they did accordinglie, and so that 
conference brake." 

The owner of the fourscore cattle, Eoger Harbotle, was not so fortunate 
1 Original Memorandum in Buccleuch Charter-room. 


as the curate. Despairing of obtaining restitution through the ordinary 
course of justice in that stormy period, he entered into negotiations with 
the thieves, who, on dividing the spoil, " everie man of them had seven 
beasts to his pairt." He offered Laucie Armstrong of Catheugh eight 
shillings sterling for each of his cattle, but without success. Lancie, 
instead of treating with him, threatened him with another raid, alleging that 
the barony of Langlie, in which Harbotle dwelt, owed him thirty pounds 
sterling, which the indwellers there were in use to pay his father and grand- 
father, and had not paid it for many years back. This was no doubt for 
arrears of black-mail, which the " indwellers " had ceased paying during the 
quieter times ; but the immunity from punishment, which the marauders were 
now experiencing during the Civil War had apparently raised their hopes of 
again levying this protection-money. 1 

Although Justiciary- Courts were regularly held by the Earl of Buccleuch 
and his deputies, and ample powers delegated to them for the punishment of 
offenders, the means at their command were insufficient to carry these powers 
into execution. Both countries had then more important issues at stake 
than the repression of Border robberies, which had become so formidable and 
audacious that it would have required a strong force and a vigorous admini- 
stration like that of the Earl's grandfather to repress them. The marauders 
had confederates and agents on either side of the Border, which enabled 
them to dispose of large flocks and herds with impunity. 

There is sufficient evidence in the documents which have been preserved, 
connected with the judicial proceedings against these men, to show that 
Francis, Earl of Buccleuch, made strenuous efforts to regulate the unruly . 
district under his charge. His anxiety to secure justice and protection to the 
inhabitants of both sides of the Border is shown in the following letter from 
certain parties in Alnwick, in Northumberland : — 

Bight Honourable, — Wee have, with a great deall of content and appre- 
hension of your Lordship's noblemindednes towards us and the whole body of this 
1 Judicial and other Papers in Buccleuch Charter-room. 


county of Northumberland, received your Lordship's lettres of the 26th of May 
1645, with a schedull of names of such as you haue imprisoned, labourers to 
destroy the bordering parts of their owne and neighbouring nation. Wee shall not, 
God willing, faile to give the amplest and most tymely warning we may to such 
as have any matter of prosecution against them, to appeare at Selkirke against 
the 1 2th of June, and especially against Lancelott Armstrang of Catheugh. Wee 
desire, in the deepest degree of acknowledgement, to mention this honorable 
respect, issuing from your Lordship so freely, and to study at all tymes to mani- 
fest ourselves those that wilbe ready to make demonstration upon every emergeint 
occasion, that we will ever remaine 

Your Lordship's, 

In our best observances and services, 

M E - Elisha Welden. 

Henry Ogle. 

Geo. Payler. 
Alnwick, the thirtieth of Maii, 1 645. EiCH. Forster. 

Alex r - Collingwood. 

William Armorer. 

Raphe Salkeld. 
To the Right Honourable our noble Lord, the Earle of Buckclough, at Branx- 
holme in Scotland. 1 

When the new Commission to the Earl was granted in 1646, he received 
at the same time the thanks of the Council, by an Act of Approbation, for 
the efficiency of his services on the former Commission. 

The tenants of the Earl of Buccleuch were the principal sufferers, and the 
cattle of the Earl himself were sometimes carried off in considerable numbers. 
The following incident, describing the easy recovery of a number of sheep 
belonging to the Earl, shows that the marauders were not disposed to carry 
their resistance to extremity where the Earl's own property was concerned. 
A flock of fifty sheep were stolen out of Carshope, and the herd setting out 
in search of them, followed them " with his eye in the storm until the ail 
house beside Kirklinton, in Cumberland, where a number of the rnoss- 
1 Original Letter in Buccleuch Charter-room. 


troopers were sitting drinking, who inquiring from whence he with the 
blancket did come, he told them he was corned in following the Earl of 
Buccleuch's sheep that were stolen out of Carshope, and he had found forty 
of them at that house. They ask him how he durst follow or find any Lord 
or Laird's sheep there. He said they might well, or it were long, see another 
sort of followers of these sheep, that would not spare them, for all their 
proud crackes if they had any hand in stealing of them, whereupon they 
took their horses, and presently went away. The fellow charges the good- 
man of the ale-house with the reset of the sheep, because he had found them 
at his house, which he denied, and bade him do with them what he pleased, 
for he had nothing to do with them. Whereupon he brought the sheep 
driving back unto Arthur Grame's house of Parkrig, who kept him and the 
sheep all night." 1 

The anxiety which the state of the Borders caused to the Earl, and his 
great desire to repress the marauders, is shown in the following letter which 
he wrote to Gideon Scott of Hisjhchester : — 

" Loving Freind, — Ther is ane Justice-Court to bee halden att Drumfreis one 
Twesday come aught days, the 26 of this moneth, which by all appearance will 
bee to little purpose unless some of yow of Tiviotdaill and the Forrest who aire 
upon the commissione bee present ther, to countenance that business which is so 
necessarie for the good of that country, and will bee exemplarie to these wicked 
peiple whose robberies is too much chirished. And therefor I earnestly desyre 
yow will bee pleased to take pains to goe thither and assist to doe justice on 
these wicked malefactors now in that prisone; wher I hope your brother Sir 
Williame, Stobs, Colonell Scott, Quhitslett, Gaudilands, Sintoune, and Gowrinberry 
will meet yow, together with som of the gentlemen of that country, and wher 
your trouble will bee only for a day or two att most, which I am assured yow will 
doe att the desyre of 

Your most affectionatt freind, 

Buccleuche. 2 
"Edinburgh, February 18, 1650." 

1 Original Statement in Buecleuch Charter- 2 Original tetter in Lord Polwarth's Char- 

room, ter-room. 


The army of Cromwell, while quartered near the Borders, also suffered 
from the attacks of these daring freebooters. In a letter from his head- 
quarters, in Edinburgh, 16th October 1650, he refers to the theft of horses 
made by the moss-troopers, who were tenants of the Earl of Buccleuch. 
" My last told you of a letter to be sent to Colonel Kerr and Straughton from 
hence. Saturday the 26th, the Commissary-General dispatched away a 
trumpet with that letter, as also gave another to the Sheriff of Cumber- 
land, to be speeded away to M. John Scot, bailiff and B. brother to the 
Lord of Buccleuch, for his demanding restitution upon his tenants, the 
moss-troopers, for the horses by them stolen the night we quartered in 
their country, since which, promises hath been made of restitution, 
and we doubt not to receive it very suddenly, or else to take satisfaction 
another way ourselves." 1 

Bepeated complaints were made to the Privy Council and the Committee 
of Estates by the peaceful inhabitants of the Border counties, requesting them 
to take measures to repress and punish the moss-troopers for the numerous 
murders and robberies committed by them. In order to suppress these 
outrages, punish the offenders, and secure the quiet of the kingdom, a 
commission was granted on 2d December 1648, by King Charles the 
First, with advice of the Lords of his Privy Council and Committee of 
his Estates of Parliament, to Francis Earl of Buccleuch, William Earl 
of Lothian, Archibald Lord Angus, John Lord Kirkcudbright, Sir William 
Douglas of Cavers, Archibald Douglas, his eldest son, Sir William Scott 
of Harden, elder, Sir William Scott fiar thereof, and many others, who are 
named, of whose affection and abilities his Majesty had good experience, 
constituting them his Commissioners within the bounds of the shires of 
Boxburgh, Selkirk, Dumfries, and Stewartry of Annandale, with power to any 
one of them, or any having warrant from them, conjunctly and severally, to 
pursue and apprehend the said moss-troopers, thieves, robbers, their associ- 
ates and followers, or any other committers or suspected committers of the 

1 Border Antiquities, vol. ii. p. cxxv. 


above-mentioned crimes, wherever they might be apprehended within these 
bounds, and to commit them to any jails within the said bounds or any other 
jail thereabout, till they be brought to trial. Any of the Commissioners, 
or any having power from them, were authorised to cause the persons so 
warded to be brought to the Courts to be held by the Commissioners, or any 
five of them, any of the noblemen named being one, for their trial and punish- 
ment within these bounds. Should any of them, to escape apprehension, flee 
to places of strength, or elsewhere within the kingdom, any of the Com- 
missioners mentioned and those having warrant from them, were invested 
with power to pursue them, to lay siege to the strongholds and use all kinds 
of force and warlike engines for taking these houses and apprehending the 
persons therein, and to put them to the knowledge of an assize, and to 
administer justice upon them conformably to the laws of the realm, and to 
convene before them the resetters of the moss-troopers, thieves, robbers, or 
any others committers of the crimes aforesaid. This Commission is signed 
by the Lords of the Privy Council. 1 

The Earl of Buccleuch had to share in the proceedings against witches, 
which were not uncommon in his time. A Commission was granted to him 
in the year 1650 for the burning of witches in the parish of Eckford. 2 The 
original Commission has been lost, but it would confer the powers usually 
given by the Privy Council in such cases ; to hold courts for the trial of 
those accused or suspected, and if they were found guilty to pronounce 
sentence of death, to be carried out in the customary manner by burning at 
the stake. An instrument called the " branks " was sometimes placed over 
the head to stifle the cries of the victim, but at a later date the accused 
was strangled at the stake before being burnt. One of these curious relics 
of former days of superstition and barbarism is preserved at Dalkeith 
House. It was discovered in the foundation-stone of the former church of 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, pp. 2S3-287. 

2 Paid " for a coinmissioun for burneing of witches in Eckfurd, £10, 3s." Scots.— Bucclench 
Chamberlain Accounts. 


the parish of Glenbervie, when the present church was built, and it was 
presented to His Grace the Duke of Buccleuch. 

Francis, Earl of Buccleuch, having lost his only son, Walter, Lord Scott, 
who died in childhood, was desirous that, failing surviving male heirs of his 
body, the honours and estates of the house of Buccleuch should descend to 
his daughters. He accordingly executed a bond of tailzie, dated 1 4th June 
1650, and made resignation of his honours and estates into the hands of the 
Barons of Exchequer, for new infeftment to be granted to himself and to the 
heirs-male of his body ; whom failing, to the eldest heir-female of his body ; 
whom failing, to Lady Jean Scott, afterwards Countess of Tweeddale, his 
sister, and the heirs-male of her body ; whom failing, to the eldest heir- 
female of her body ; whom all failing, to any other person whom, during his 
life, he should nominate to be heir of tailzie. In the event of one of his 
daughters, or any other heir-female succeeding, it was provided that she 
should marry a gentleman of the name of Scott, or who should assume that 
name, and whose heirs should likewise bear the name of Scott and the arms 
of the family of Buccleuch, under pain of forfeiture of the titles and estates. 
The heirs-female were also bound not to alter or infringe the tailzie, nor 
to sell, dispone, nor wadset any part of the estate, excepting so much as 
would pay any debt which the Earl should be found owing at the time 
of his decease. The Earl reserved the power of nominating at any future 
time the governors, guardians, tutors, or curators of his heirs during their 
minority. 1 

Having thus provided that in the event of his having no sons, his eldest 
surviving daughter would succeed to the estate and honours of Buccleuch, 
the Earl made his last will and testament, which is dated at Edinburgh, 15th 
June 1650. In the event of his leaving sons, one or more, at the time of his 
death, he nominated his eldest son for the time his only executor and uni- 
versal intromitter with his personal estate, and failing of sons, he nominated 

1 Extract Bond of Tailzie in Buccleuch corded in the Books of Council and Session 
Charter-room. The original Bond was re- on 24th June 1650. 



Lady Mary Scott, his eldest daughter ; and failing of her by decease, Lady 
Margaret Scott, his second daughter ; and failing of both by decease, his next 
eldest daughter for the time successive ; and failing of both sons and daugh- 
ters, he nominated Lady Margaret Leslie, his Countess, his sole and only 
executors and universal intromitters with his moveables : so that in con- 
sequence of the deed of entail, executed 14th June 1650, which provided 
that in the event of his dying without a male heir of his own body, his eldest 
surviving daughter should succeed to the estates and honours of Buccleuch, 
his executor being his eldest son or eldest daughter for the time, was to 
succeed also to his estates. He ordained his heirs and executors to pay all 
debts and provisions that should be owing by him to his creditors, or pro- 
vided by him to his other children at the time of his decease, with all legacies 
he should leave, and for the better performing thereof he disponed to his heir 
of tailzie and executor, all personal property belonging to him at the time 
of his decease. Should Lady Margaret Leslie, his spouse, be his executor, 
through the failure of both sons and daughters to be heirs and executors, he left 
and disponed his house moveables to her, free of all debts and burdens 
whatsoever, except such particular legacies as he should leave to any particular 
persons or uses. He nominated Lady Margaret Leslie, his spouse, Sir John 
Scott of Scottstarvet, Sir William Scott of Clerkingtoun, both Senators of the 
College of Justice, Sir William Scott of Harden, elder, Sir William Scott, 
younger, his son, William Elliot of Stobs, Colonel Walter Scott of Hartwood- 
burne, John Scott of Gorrinberrie, Patrick Scott of Thirlstane, Mr. Laurence 
Scott of Bavilaw, Patrick Scott, writer in Edinburgh, Gilbert Elliot, fiar of 
Stobs, tutors-testamentars to all his children, with power to them or any 
five of them, Lady Margaret Leslie, his spouse, during her widowhood, being 
always one of the five ; and failing of her by death or marriage, Sir John 
Scott of Scottstarvet, Sir William Scott of Clerkingtoun, Sir William Scott, 
elder, of Harden, or any of them, being always two of the five ; and should 
there be fewer than five in life for the time, with power to them to exercise 
the office of tutory. 

vol. I. 2 R 


The Earl made a codicil to his will at Dalkeith, 20th November 1651, in 
which he nominated Gideon Scott of Highchester, second lawful son to Sir 
William Scott of Harden, and Mr. Laurence Scott of Bavilaw, to be two of 
the tutors, in addition to those nominated in his principal testament. He 
also left various sums to be paid yearly to several servants and others by 
his heirs. To John Scott, his youngest natural brother, he left the sum of 
£100 annually during all the days of his life. 1 

Considering the near relationship of the Earl of Tweeddale's children, 
who were heirs of tailzie, and the possibility of their succeeding to the estate 
by failure of the children of Earl Francis, it was considered advisable not to 
appoint the Earl of Tweeddale to the office of tutor, as, having so strong a 
personal interest in the succession, he might have been tempted to abuse 
the powers of his office to the advantage of his own children. The Earl 
of Tweeddale, it is said, was greatly disappointed when the contents of the 
Testament became known, as he had confidently expected to be nominated 
one of the tutors. 2 

The Inventory of the personal property and debts pertaining to Earl 
Francis at the time of his decease, was given up by John Gledstanes, his 
chamberlain, at the command of the tutors to Lady Mary Scott, then Countess 
of Buccleuch. The sum of the inventory, with the debts, was £86,700, 
4s. lid. The debts owing by the deceased were £7068, lis. 4d. There 
rested of free gear, the debts deduced, £78,939, 2s. 4d. 3 

While yet a young man, being only four years past his majority, the 
Earl died at the Castle of Dalkeith, after a short illness, on Saturday, 
22d November 1651, and was interred in his own burial-place in Dalkeith 
Church, on Thursday, the 4th December following. 4 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 293. pp. 2, 3. — Original in Lord Polwartlrs Char- 

2 An Information of the Condition of the ter-room. 

Family of Buccleuch, and the most remark- 3 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 292. 

able occurrences therein, from the 14th of 4 Balfour's Annals of Scotland, vol. iv. 

June in the year 1650, by Sir Gideon Scott, p. 352. 

HIS DEATH, NOVEMBER 22, 1651. 315 

He is thus described by Satchells : — 

" Earl Francis his father Earl Walter did succeed, 
Into his earldom, but not to his head ; 
Yet he wanted neither hand, head, nor heart, 
But could not act like to his father's part : 
His father's acts were all military, 
And he was much inclin'd to study ; 
His father scorned to suffer a stain, 
Neither of himself nor of his name ; 
With the house of Rothes married he, 
An equal match by antiquitie." l 

The excellence of his character earned for him the name of the " Good 
Earl Francis." 

Lady Margaret Leslie, Countess of Buccleuch, survived her husband, 
Francis, Earl of Buccleuch. Satchells does not speak very favourably of the 
Countess : — 

" That worthy Earl was soon by death assail' d, 
'Gainst whom no mortal ever yet prevail'd : 
He had no heirs-male, but daughters left behind, 
For to enjoy his great earldom and land ; 
These infants sweet left to their guardians to keep, 
Their tutors oft suffered controul, 
Their mother was so impudent 
That she must always have her intent." 2 

An allowance of £10,000 Scots was granted, 20th August and 15th 
December 1652, by the tutors of Lady Mary Scott, Countess of Buccleuch, 
and her sisters to their mother, the Countess-Dowager. This sum was 
granted to the Countess-Dowager in consideration that she had been debarred 
from her conjunct-fee for the crop of the year 1651, in consequence of the 
death of the Earl, her husband, having happened after the term of Martinmas 

1 History of the Name of Scot, p. 49. - Ibid. 


that year, so that she could not obtain payment of any part of the rents of 
her liferent lands till Martinmas following. The allowance was also granted 
in consideration that her Ladyship had been at great expense in her family 
between the time of the Earl's death in November 1651 and Whitsunday 
following, when it had been incumbent on the young Countess, as heir and 
executor to her father, to entertain the family honourably upon her Lady- 
ship's expenses, to pay the charges of the Earl her father's funeral, the visits 
of divers friends, and others, occasioned by the abode of the English Com- 
missioners at Dalkeith, and frequent meetings of the tutors for the young 
Countess of Buccleuch's affairs at the Countess-Dowager's house. The tutors 
also allowed to the Countess-Dowager, for the maintenance, education, and 
clothing of the three young ladies her daughters, and servants' fees, the sum 
of 7200 merks. 1 

About fourteen months after the death of her second husband, the Earl 
of Buccleuch, his Dowager married, as her third husband, David, second Earl 
of Wemyss, who, like herself, had also been twice previously married. The 
marriage was at Sheriffhall, where she resided, near Dalkeith, on 13th 
January 1653. Two letters which she wrote to the Earl of Wemyss, bearing 
on their courtship, may here be introduced : — 

" My Lord, — My disyr preuailing so much with your Lordship this day, as 
to persuad you to goe another way then ye intended, obliges me, in the sence 
thereof, to return thanks, sieing in that mor respect then in manie visits, or rather 
then is diserued. I most presume by this to intret your Lordship to forget wher 
I am that ther may be no uisit nor leter till the end of the nixt munth, at which 
tyme hir resoloosion shall be imparted to your Lordship, who is, 

My Lord, 
Your Lordship's most humble seruant, 

Margaret Leslie. 
"Shirefhall, 8th July [1652]. 

" For the right honorable the Earlle of Wierais." " 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 298. - Original Letter at Wemyss Castle, Fife. 


" My Lord, — Since it pleses your Lordship still to expres so much respect as 
willingly to alter any of your resolootions intended, I doe estiem it ane uery 
great obligasion, and shall not dout bot as it plesed your Lordship to promice 
in your last to me at Edenburgh, that ye wold delay your coming to this syd som 
tym yet, tho' I shall not presum to prescryv, yet I houp not to be mistakin in 
this, since at present it is most fit, and it is the disyr of hir who is, 

My Lord, 
Your Lordship's most humble seruant, 

Margaret Leslie. 
" Shirefhall, 26th August [1652]. 

" For the right honorable the Earlle of Wiems." 1 

The originals of these letters to the Earl of Wemyss are written on black- 
edged paper, and are sealed with black was, as tokens of mourning for her 
second husband, the Earl of Buccleuch. The lady's love-letters to her intended 
third husband were thus written in the time of her mourning and grief for her 
late second Lord. The grief of the Earl of Wemyss for the loss of his second 
wife was even shorter-lived than that of the Countess of Buccleuch for her 
husband. The funeral of the second Countess of Wemyss took place on the 
6th of May 1652, and the reply of the Countess Dowager of Buccleuch to 
the proposal of the Earl of Wemyss was written only two months afterwards. 
If the character of the second Countess of Wemyss is correctly described by 
Mr. John Lamont in his Diary, it is rather surprising that the Earl should 
have been so eager for another alliance. Lamont says, " The Lady Weyms 
in Fyfe, surnamed Fleymen (Fleming), being the Earles second lady, depairted 
out of this life at the Weyms, without children, and was interred the 6 of 
May [1652] att the Church of the Weyms. She caused her husband give a 
frie discharge to her brother, the Lord Fleymen, of her whole tocher, being 
about 20 thousand merks Scots, before any of it was payed to him, so that he 
is not to receive a farthen token of it. She caused her husband also, and her 

1 Original Letter at Wemyss Castle, Fife. 


brother, to give Mr. Patrick Gillespie (sometime minister of Kirkekaldie) a 
band of foure thousand marke, to be payed by them to the said Mr. Pa. She 
caused also a doore to be struken throughe the wall of her chamber, for to 
goe to the wine cellar ; for she had (as is said by many) a great desire after 
stronge drinke. The frindes of the E. of Weyms say, that at her death he 
was a hunder thousand mark worse then when he maried her (and all the 
tyme of ther mariage was onlie two yeare)." 1 

By her third husband Lady Margaret Leslie had one son, David, Lord 
Elcho, who died on the 28th of September 1671, in the seventeenth year of 
his age, unmarried. She had also one daughter, Lady Margaret Wemyss, 
who became Countess of Wemyss in her own right, and married, first, 
James, Lord Burntisland, and had issue one son and two daughters. She 
married, secondly, George, Viscount of Tarbat and first Earl of Cromartie. In 
" The Earls of Cromartie" there are notices of Margaret, Countess of Wemyss 
and Cromartie, including the quaint letter of Lord Cromartie proposing to 
her Ladyship. 2 

Of the marriage of Prancis, Earl of Buccleuch, and Lady Margaret Leslie 
there were one son and three daughters — 

Walter Lord Scott was born at Dalkeith on Sunday, 5th November 1648, 
and died in infancy. A letter from Margaret, Countess of Eglinton, sister of 
Earl Walter, dated 8th May 1650, alluding to her intended visit to Dalkeith, 
states that " me lord and his lady taks it weri greiffously the daethe of ther 

The daughters were — 

1. Lady Mary, who succeeded her father as Countess of Buccleuch, was born 
at Dalkeith on Tuesday, 31st August 1647, as shown in her Memoir. 

2. Lady Margaret, the second daughter, was born at Dalkeith on Tuesday, 
5th March 1650. She died in the winter of 1652, and was buried at Dalkeith. 

1 Lamont's Diary, p. 40. 

2 The Earls of Cromartie, by William Fraser, vol. i. p. cxlii. 



3. Lady Anna, the third daughter, who succeeded her sister Lady Mary as 
Countess of Buccleuch, was born at Dundee on Tuesday, 11th February 1651. 
She became Duchess of Buccleuch and Monmouth, as shown in her Memoir. 






Born 1647. Succeeded 1651. Died 1661. 

WALTEB SCOTT of Highchestek, Earl of Tarras. 

[" ADY MARY SCOTT was born at Dalkeith on Tuesday, 31st August 
1647. At the time of her succession to her father in November 1651, 
she was thus a child of only four years. As the inheritor of the extensive 
earldom of Buccleuch, and as the object of intrigues which led to her 
premature marriage in childhood, the history and fate of Mary, Countess of 
Buccleuch, furnish materials for a real romance. 

Her succession to the titles of honour and the territorial possessions of 
the earldom of Buccleuch, was regulated by the deed of entail which was 
made by her father, Earl Francis, in 1650, soon after the death of his only 
son, Lord Scott, as already explained in the preceding Memoir. 1 

The early years of the Countess Mary were passed in the old Castle of 
Dalkeith, which was the ancient inheritance of the family of Douglas, Earl of 
Morton, till it was acquired by her father. But soon after the death of 
Francis, Earl of Buccleuch, the English Commissioners appointed by the 
Commonwealth for the administration of Scottish affairs took possession of 
the castle, park, and orchard. They probably did so under the mistaken 
idea that these belonged to the Crown, as King Charles the First, in the 

1 Her retour as heir to her father is dated 6th October 1C53. 



BORN 1647, D I ED 1861 . 



year 1637, acquired from the Earl of Morton the estate of Dalkeith, intend- 
ing to make it a great park. But shortly afterwards, owing to the troubles 
in which the King became involved, his purpose was not carried into effect, 
and he re-sold Dalkeith to the Earl of Morton, who was again infefted. But 
he soon afterwards sold Dalkeith to Erancis, second Earl of Buccleuch, who 
paid a very high price for it and obtained possession. The tutors of the 
Countess having learnt in 1652 that it was the intention of the Commis- 
sioners to return soon to England, an attempt was made by them to recover 
possession of the Castle of Dalkeith. In this they were unsuccessful. The 
Commissioners declared that they had no power in themselves to deliver up 
the castle, as they had been appointed to reside there by an order of the 
Parliament of the Commonwealth. They promised, however, to deal with 
the Parliament for its redelivery to the Countess of Buccleuch. A petition 
was also presented in June 1653 to the Council of State, with no more 
success than the former application. 1 

The castle and park of Dalkeith were then placed by the Government 
at the disposal of General Monck, as Commander-in-chief of the army in 
Scotland. He continued to reside there until his departure for England, 
immediately before the Eestoration of King Charles the Second. The 
Restoration was, indeed, arranged in one of the rooms of the castle, and it was 
there that the negotiations were carried on which resulted in the march of 
General Monck to London. No rent was paid by the Commissioners during 
their stay at Dalkeith ; but Monck, during his residence there paid a yearly 
rent of £110 sterling for the park and orchards, but only a nominal rent of 
threepence yearly for the castle. The Government possibly considered that 
they were justified in occupying a fortified castle without paying rent, especially 
as it belonged to the successor of Francis, Earl of Buccleuch, who had, in his 
later years, espoused the cause of King Charles the Second, in opposition to the 
establishment of the Commonwealth. And the nominal rent of threepence 
would, at the same time, express their intention of considering the castle to be 
1 Sederunt Book of the Tutors, in Buccleuch Charter-room. 

VOL. I. 2 S 


the private property of the Countess of Buccleuch. 1 On their removal from the 
Castle of Dalkeith, the Countess of Buccleuch, with her mother, the Countess 
of Wemyss, and her sisters, the Ladies Margaret and Anna, abode at Sheriff- 
hall House, near Dalkeith, which was fitted up for their reception. The Charter- 
chests containing the family muniments were at the same time removed from 
the Bass Bock, where they had lain for safety during the civil troubles, and 
were placed in Sheriff hall. During her residence there the Countess lost her 
next sister, Lady Margaret, who died before she had reached her third year. 

The marriage of the Countess-Dowager of Buccleuch to the Earl of Wemyss 
in the year 1653 again altered the arrangements of the family. The Countess 
of Buccleuch and the Lady Anna Scott, her only surviving sister, then re- 
moved with their mother to Wemyss Castle, in the county of Fife, where 
the Countess Mary continued to reside until her marriage in the year 1659. 

Although Earl Francis had acted with the party in Scotland which 
opposed the expedition to England under the Duke of Hamilton, his sub- 
sequent action in lending his support to the measures for promoting the 
cause of King Charles the Second made him obnoxious to the Government 
of Cromwell. His death shortly after the decisive battle of AVorcester pre- 
vented the punishment falling on him personally, but his successor did not 
escape. By the Protector's Act of Pardon and Grace, dated in the year 1654, 
the Countess Mary, as the heir of her father, was fined in the sum of £15,000 
sterling, which was the largest fine imposed. Commissioners were appointed 
by the Protectorate to hear and decide the petitions which were presented 
in order to obtain relief from the fines, and the tutors of the Countess 
adopted measures for obtaining her exemption from the fine, or at least the 
mitigation of its severity. 

The petition presented by the tutors on behalf of the Countess of 
Buccleuch represented that the fine had been imposed by some mistake, his 
Highness the Lord Protector and his Honourable Council not being fully 

1 Buccleuch Chamberlain Accounts, in tract, signed by General Monck, in Lord 
Buccleuch Charter-room, and Original Con- Polwarth's Charter-room. 


informed of the condition, of the petitioner and the conduct of her deceased 
father. The tutors offered for their consideration the following particulars : — 
That the petitioner was a pupil under seven years of age ; that her estate 
was provided to her with such conditions that she had no power to dispose 
of any part of, nor contract any debt on it ; that the yearly value of the 
estate was not so large as had been represented, besides being burdened 
with the liferent of the Countess-Dowager, the provision to Lady Anna 
Scott, and others, and with the claims of the creditors of the late Earl. It 
was also urged that the estate had suffered severely by the waste and destruc- 
tion during the years 1650 and 1651, and that the Castle of Dalkeith had 
been refitted for the use of the Commissioners, for whose accommodation 
the Dowager Countess and her family had willingly removed from Dalkeith 
House and Park. 

The petition then describes the conduct of the Earl during the Civil War, 
showing that he had, when very young, acted as Colonel of a regiment of 
the army which assisted the English Parliamentary forces ; that in the year 
1648 he had opposed the "Engagement," withdrawing from Parliament on 
that occasion, and only returning for the purpose of recording his dissent 
from that expedition ; and although that Parliament had nominated him or 
his brother, David Scott, to be Colonel of a regiment, he had refused and also 
dissuaded his brother from joining the party. With his friends and followers 
he was among the first to rise in arms against the returning army, and he 
voted in the Parliament of 1649 which condemned the " Engagement " as 
unlawful Since her father's death the petitioner and her tutors had shown 
themselves always obedient to the existing Government in all tilings that 
could be expected of them. 1 

The petition was accompanied by attestations in favour of the late Earl 

1 The petitioners had made out a good can be charged with as sitting in Parlia- 

case so far, and they wisely stopped at that ment or Comitties since Dumbar, anno 1650," 

point. A note on a contemporary copy of the after which time he had supported the cause 

Petition suggests that " It is thought not of King Charles the Second. Vol. ii. of this 

fitting to mentione any thing the late Erie work, pp. 300-302. 


from Lord Burghly and others, which have been noticed at length in the 
previous Memoir. 1 

It was considered advisable that in addition to the petition, personal 
application should be made to the Protector and his' Council; and with this 
object John, third Earl of Tweeddale, and Gideon Scott of Highchester, were 
commissioned by the tutors to proceed to London, for the purpose of giving 
all necessary information concerning the conduct of the late Earl in relation 
to the alterations and troubles in both countries, and generally to act as 
they thought fitting for the purpose of procuring a reduction of the fine, if 
they could not obtain complete exemption. 2 

The instructions given by the tutors to the Commissioners to guide them 
in the negotiation were of the same nature as the reasons already urged in 
the petition. In the event of their succeeding in obtaining a reduction of 
the fine, they were to request an allowance to be made for the loss sustained 
by the Countess in giving up Dalkeith House and Park to the English 
Commissioners, and also for the timber which had been cut during their 
residence there. They were enjoined, if they considered it requisite, to 
advise with the Earls of Eothes and Eoxburgh, Sir John Scott of Scotts- 
tarvit, and Patrick Scott of Thirlestane, and if they met with any serious 
difficulty requiring a consultation of the tutors, they were requested to inform 
Sir William Scott of Clerkington, Mr. Laurence Scott of Bavilaw, or Patrick 
Scott of Langshaw, who would convene a meeting of the tutors to decide on 
any measure of importance. 3 

A great deal of the information we possess of the progress of the negotia- 
tions is derived from papers written by Gideon Scott of Highchester ; and as 
he was a rival of the Earl of Tweeddale for possession of the control over 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, pp. 302-306. Gideon Soott of Highchester was a younger 

3 Original Commission, dated 20th May son of Sir William Scott of Harden, and 

1654, in Buccleuch Charter-room. John, father of Walter Scott, created Earl of Tarras 

third Earl of Tweeddale, married Lady Jean for life. 

Scott, daughter of Walter, first Earl of Buc- 3 Original Instructious in Buccleuch Char- 

cleuch, and aunt of the Countess Mary. ter-room. 


the destiny of the young heiress, his statements must be received with 
caution. His schemes for the furtherance of the interests of himself and 
his son, which for a time succeeded, brought him into frequent collision with 
the other tutors, and he never fails to attribute interested motives to those 
who opposed his policy and endeavoured to thwart his aims. 

Eespecting the appointment of the Earl of Tweeddale as a Commissioner, 
Gideon Scott alleges that some of the tutors were reluctant to employ him 
in that capacity. They were, however, led to acquiesce in this arrangement 
by the persuasion of Sir John Gilmour, Sir William Scott of Clerkington, and 
Patrick Scott of Langshaw, and of Mr. Desborough, an intimate friend of the 
Earl of Tweeddale, who possessed great power in influencing the Protector, 
both as to the imposition of fines and procuring exemption from them. 

In fulfilment of the commission and instructions given by the tutors, 
Gideon Scott departed for London on 1st June 1654, and met with the Earl 
of Tweeddale on the Saturday thereafter at Newcastle. Thence they travelled 
together to London, where Highchester delivered to his Lordship the papers 
which he produced. Gideon kept a close and constant watch on the 
proceedings of the Earl, of whom he had a deep distrust, considering, not 
without cause, that their interests were antagonistic, and suspecting that 
his Lordship meant to use his influence in London to advance his own views. 

On Monday 26th June, the Earl of Tweeddale presented to the Protector 
the supplication of the Countess of Buccleuch, with the several attestations 
connected therewith, which were referred by him to his Council at Whitehall, 
who, on 27th June 1654, ordered that the petition of the tutors be referred 
to the Committee for the affairs of Scotland, and reported by them to the 
Council. 1 Along with the petition an additional paper was given in, 
requesting that his Highness would be pleased to signify his resolution 
concerning the Countess of Buccleuch's fine, that the Earl might have 
encouragement to return prepared to give satisfaction therein. He also 
pleaded for an adjournment of the term for some time longer than the rest 
1 Original Order in Buccleuch Charter-room. 


of the cases to be tried in Scotland, both in respect of the fine itself, and as 
a mark of his Highness's favour. He further requested that if the Protector 
meant to extend his favour to Sir William Scott of Harden, Patrick Scott of 
Thirlestane, and Sir John Scott of Scottstarvit, who had also been fined, the 
notice should be conveyed to them through the Earl, since thereby he would 
be rendered more useful, as these were special friends and trustees to the 
children of the late Earl of Buccleuch. 1 

The object of the Earl in presenting this additional paper was no doubt 
to increase his influence with the tutors, by making it appear that his power 
had been used to sway the Protector in their behalf. 2 The presentation of 
this memorial was unknown to Gideon Scott, who, having been informed by 
a friend of what had been done, suspected that some secret negotiation was 
being carried on inimical to his interests. He immediately sought the Earl 
and expostulated with him for having concealed from him part of the business 
intrusted to both, and for having proceeded in it without his knowledge and 
consent, notwithstanding their joint commission and instructions. His Lord- 
ship excused himself by alleging that he could not get a fit opportunity to 
inform him. Highchester was determined to have his suspicions of the Earl 
either confirmed or cleared, and he accordingly sought an interview with 
Lord Laurence, the President of the Council. He informed his Lordship 
that the Earl of Tweeddale had given in a supplication to the Lord Protector 
without his (Highchester's) knowledge or concurrence, which was directly 
contrary to the terms of their commission, which provided equal and con- 
junct powers to the two commissioners. " Therefore," he added, " I was 
jealous of him and amazed what his design might be." He therefore 
requested the President to permit him to inspect the document, which Lord 
Laurence refused unless he came accompanied by the Earl of Tweeddale. 

The difficulty of getting access to the paper only increased Gideon Scott's 

1 Copy of Articles in Lord Polwarth's 

2 Gideon Scott alleges that Clerkington 

and Langshaw were saved from being fined, 
through the influence of Tweeddale and his 
friend Mr. Desborough. 


suspicion. Frustrated in his attempt to obtain the information privately, he 
went to the Earl of Tweeddale, and desired his Lordship to accompany him 
to the Council House, in order that he might inspect the supplication which 
had been given in, threatening, in the event of his refusal, to report the 
matter to the tutors. The Earl thereon went with him to the President of 
the Councd. The papers having been produced and shown to Gideon Scott, 
he was somewhat appeased when he saw that they were the same as those 
that were subscribed by the tutors, which he was forced to admit. The 
Earl, turning to Gideon, said to him, " You will believe now, when you have 
seen them." " It might have been clone with less noise," he replied. 1 

The Earl of Tweeddale then remonstrated with him for what he alleged 
was an unfounded suspicion, asserting that he had no other object in view 
except the furtherance of the business which had brought them to London. 
He then demurred to proceed any further in the commission, informing 
Gideon Scott that he might take it up if he pleased. But this proposal was 
refused by Highchester, who expressed his willingness to act along with his 
Lordship so long as the instructions defined by the commission were not 
exceeded. If we are to trust the statement of Gideon Scott, the Earl " went 
on stdl after that by himselfe alone without either advice or concurrence " 
with him. 2 Both Commissioners seem to have been more intent on watching 
each other than anxious about the reduction of the fine. 

The following letter from the Earl of Tweeddale to Sir William Scott of 
Harden, informs him of the proceedings in London in reference to the affairs 
of the Countess of Buccleuch : — 

Londone, Jully 6, 1654. 
Honnorid Sir, — Thought I haue often wrott to Patrike Scott to be 
comunicat to all the tutors in toune, yitt supposing yow may selclome be ther, I 

1 It does not appear that the additional his going to London with the Earl of Tweed- 
paper was at this time shown to Highchester, dale anent the Countess's fine of £15,000 
but only the supplication. sterling," dated at Edinburgh 23d September 

2 " Report of Gideon Scott of Heychester 1654, in Buccleuch Charter-room, 
to the tutors of the Countess of Buccleuch, of 


intend this particular account for yow, that after I had saluted most of the persons 
of eminency heir the seconde time that I was with his Highnes, I presented the 
Counttes hir petitione, which he read at great leasure and the testimonie ther- 
with, and remitting them to the Councel promisid to haue a special regard to 
them, only desird to speak with me at mor lenght, beeing then to goe to Councel. 
The occasione hes not yitt fallen out for ther is a greater distanc heir kipid then 
is immaginable, bot I hope to know mor of what may be expectid in a few days, 
if this general petitione of which I doubt not yow haue hard which hes occasiond 
a referenc of the hole matter of fins to Scotland doe not hinder ; bot of this ue 
shal haue ful certainty in a day or two. Your sone is uery diligent in your ouen 
particular, and thought I haue bein littel usful to him in it, yit I hope I shal be 
mor heirafter ; and ueryly, without complement, I desire to mak it appear, I am, 
Your affectionatly humble seruant, 


For Sir William Scott of Harden. 1 

The Earl gave in a report to the tutors in September 1654, of the manner 
in which he had executed the commission with which he and Gideon Scott 
of Highchester had been intrusted. He then formally gave up the com- 

Report the Earle of Tweddaill to the Tutobjes of Buccleuch, 
the 22 of September 1654. 

After ten dayes tyme spent in doeing the ordinar civilities to my Lord Pro- 
tector, and severall of the Counsell, the nixt tyme I had ocasion to sie his Highnes 
I did present the petition with the Testimonie, which he haveing read, at great 
leasour, asked conceirning the fortoune of that familie, which I assured him would 
not exceid 5000 lib - sterling of yeirlie revenue, and that ther was considerable 
burdeines theron, which sould be made appear. 

I found lykwayes he had received a bad character of the deceast Earle of Buc- 
cleuch, to which I made answer that, notwithstanding any misinformation, I sould 
be able to mak good all that was conteined in the Testimonie. The president of 
the Counsell, my Lord Lawrence, then comeing in, my Lord Protector delyvered 
him the petition and testimonie, and willed him to cause reid them in Counsell, 
where a referance was made to the Committe of Scottes effeires alreadie produced. 
1 Original Letter in Lord Polwarth's Charter-room. 


BORN 1644, Dl ED 1693 . 



What lies bein the result of that Comitte is now so generalie known in the 
ordinance ishued by his Highnes and the Counsell that I shall neid to say 
nothing of it. But that before my pairting the Report being made, and ane 
ordinance apointed to be drawin up, the qualificationes therin was favourable to 
our interest. That the bussines is not brought to ane finall ishue, imput not the 
want of zeall in me to doe service in that fauiilie, nor to any failance in taking 
that paines was neidfull, bot to personall weaknes and the deficulties of following 
bussines there with the disadvantage of haveing acquaintance to mak, and to 
infornie my self of the channells of effeires. 

Bot for account of youre instructiones, for the first, as it was held forth in 
youre petition so it not receiveing any particular answer it had bein to small 
purpose to have insisted therone. 

To the second, advyce was takin, as neid was, of such freindes as could be con- 
venientlie had, and there was advertisment sent, as ocasione offered, of what passed. 

The fyft was assayed bot to small purpose. 

The two last wer not followed, the bussines not being there to be heard nor 
determination made. 

Only I desyered of my Lord Protector a suspension of the fyne, because the 
ordinance was not come out, bot could not obtaine it, albeit the first day of pey- 
ment was within few dayes. Tweiddaile. 1 

The report having been read at a meeting of the tutors, Highchester 
declined to subscribe it, alleging that the truth of it was unknown to him, 
and that the Earl had acted in the negotiation without consulting him, not- 
withstanding their joint commission. He was accordingly requested by the 
tutors to give in a separate report at their next meeting. His report was 
produced on 23d September, and read in presence of the Earl of Tweeddale, 
who made no objection to it. 

The petition to Cromwell was not without result. Although unavailing 
to procure entire exemption from the large fine imposed, the efforts of the 
tutors were successful in obtaining a considerable reduction of the amount, 
which was mitigated to £7000 sterling, instead of £15,000. Additional 
efforts were then made to secure a further abatement, and a second petition 

1 Original Report in Lord Polwarth's Charter-room. 
VOL. I. 2 T 


was prepared and presented. It was accompanied by attestations, in addi- 
tion to those formerly given in, from the Earl of Lothian and numerous 
gentlemen of the south of Scotland, and by the letter from Sir Archibald 
Primrose, given at length in the Memoir of Earl Francis, which cleared the 
Earl from one of the charges made against him. 

An important service was also rendered by Sir Archibald, which bears 
a somewhat equivocal character. In his official position he had com- 
mand of certain public documents, the exposure of which would have 
seriously damaged the case of the Countess of Buccleuch, and which he 
threatened to make public. The tutors accordingly made arrangements, by 
which, on paying him the sum of £1000 Scots, he undertook to suppress or 
destroy these dangerous papers. The record of this transaction may be 
given in the words of Patrick Scott of Langshaw, who paid the money ■}— - 
" Because Sir Archibald Prymrose had dyverse registeres and extracted actes 
of the Committe of Estates, quhilkhe haveing shoared" (threatened) "to some 
of the tutores to mak publict, which wold have agravated my lordes deport- 
ment, and ocassioned litill or no diminution of my ladyes fyne ; for bloting 
out of such recordes and recoverie of such actes of the Committe of Estaites, 
be derection and advyse of a quorum of the tutores ad evitandum majus 
malum ; and for a testificat under his hand for cleiring that my Lordes 
subscryveing of a letter which was particularlie laid to his charge was not 
in publict committe, but haveing subscryved a blank paper, was therafter, 
when he was gone, filled up be the clerk without his privitie or knowledge, 
which attestation was the chief ground wherupon we gave in our second 
petition, and gat doune £1000 sterline. I gave the said Sir Archibald my 
note of £1000 at demand, which accordinglie I payed, his testimonie of 
£1000 received from me and the actes heirwith produced." 2 

Sir John Scott of Scotstarvit also proceeded to London at this time, to 

1 Patrick Scott of Laugshaw, General Re- 1654. The "testificat" mentioned here is the 
ceiver for the Buccleuch estates. letter from Sir Archibald, printed in the 

2 Buccleuch Chamberlain Accounts, October Memoir of Earl Francis. 


endeavour to obtain exemption from his own fine, and to support the second 
petition in favour of the Countess of Buccleuch, and he reported his proceed- 
ings in London to the tutors by a written report, dated at Edinburgh, 8th 
June 1655. 1 Mr. Richard Warde, Clerk of the Bills, a gentleman possessing 
considerable influence with the Government of the Commonwealth, was also 
commissioned by the tutors to go to London, and urge many reasons for the 
mitigation of the fine. He exerted himself to their satisfaction, and brought 
a good deal of influence to bear on the question. He had a letter, among 
others, from the Countess of Wemyss to her brother, the Earl of Rothes. 
Judging from the Earl's reply to Mr. Warde, he was unwilling to commit 
himself to render any assistance. 2 

Newcastill, the 2 of Novr. 1654. 

SlE, — It uas my misfortoun to be out of the toun when you did me feauer to 
cal on me at my oun loudging. I reseued a leter from my sister uitliin yours, 
wherin sine desayrs me to dou sumwhat which I shall satisffay hir with my not 
douing of it, and therfor shall giue you no furdur troubell, bot uich you good 
sucksus in your bousines, and euer remean, 

Your most ashourid frind, 

Rothes. 3 

Mr. Richard Warde. 

The result of these efforts was the further reduction of the fine from 
£7000 to £6000 sterling, the first half of which was paid on 25th June 1655, 
and the remaining £3000 on 29th September in the same year. 4 

The young Countess of Buccleuch became at a very early age the centre 
for a host of intrigues for the disposal of her hand in marriage. Gideon Scott 

1 Original in Buccleuch Charter-room. 4 A considerable outlay was incurred in 

2 The Commission to Richard Warde is these negotiations. Mr. Warde was paid 
dated 24th and 31st October 1654. He sent £3600, Sir Archibald Primrose received 
a long report of his proceedings to the tutors £1000, the Earl of Tweeddale £2647, and the 
on 7th June 1655. — Original Report, Commis- tutors ordered £1000 to be paid to Gideon 
sions, and relative instructions in Buccleuch Scott, over and above the expense of the 
Charter-room. journey to London, which cost £2400, all 

3 Original Letter in Buccleuch Charter- Scots money, besides a number of smaller 
room. payments. 


of Highchester enumerates no less than six schemes besides his own, which 
was successful. His chief rival, of whom he had most fear, was the Earl 
of Tweed dale. 

The Earl was disappointed on discovering that he had not been appointed 
by the late Earl of Buccleuch one of the tutors to his daughter. He was 
thus deprived of much of the power and influence which he would have pos- 
sessed in the management of her affairs. His own children being next heirs 
of tailzie to the estates and honours of Buccleuch, it was not unlikely that 
he contemplated, as he is said to have done, a marriage between the Countess 
of Buccleuch and one of his own sons. He therefore evinced a strong anxiety 
as to the disposal of the young heiress, and endeavoured to enlist her mother, 
the Countess of Wemyss, in his cause, by showing her that their interests 
were identical. He wrote to the Countess from London in July 1654 :— 

Londone, Jully 6, 1654. 
Madame, — Hawing bein at payns in your dawghters affairs, and doubting it 
shal occasione yitt much mor befor it come to a wished for periode, I desire to 
take occasione to remimber your Ladyship that hithertills I haue bein mead a 
cypher as to all things concernd that family, which how it lies come is possibly 
better knouen to your Ladyship. And I desire not to charge any with unkindnes, 
yit hawing now wrott to some of the frinds that I may for the future haue this 
sattisfactione that by my adwice thos children may only be disposid of, sine to 
them I haue giuen such testimonie of my affectione. I hope, madame, in this 
particular yow will consent to admitt of the neirest frinds my lord and yow haue 
as one my wife and I, and will contribut all yow can with them for my sattisfactione : 
and as I can not doubt your Ladyship will giue this testimonie of your remim- 
branc of kyndnesis doune, soe I can not see how your interests and mine at any 
time shal be separate in the disposal of thos persons, if ue haue both befor ws ther 
personal wealfaire, and that of the family, which ar uncheangable in the heart of, 

Your affectionatly humble serwant, 


For the Countess of Weims. 1 

1 Original Letter in Lord Polwarth's Charter-room. 


He also wrote soon afterwards to Sir William Scott of Harden, express- 
ing his dissatisfaction that he had hitherto been excluded from a share in the 
management of the affairs of the Countess of Buccleuch, and his anxiety 
about the disposal of her and her sister, as to which he plainly intimates a 
strong desire to be consulted : — 

Londone, Jully 13, 1654. 

Honnorid Sir, — I can ade littel to my former in relatione to bussines heir, 
beeing loath ether in my Lady Bucclewghts, or yours, to giue sudden and 
uncertaine ground of hope ; bot finding now myself ingadgid in the affairs of that 
family, and yit much mor by my neir relations therto, I shal wse freedome with 
yow that thought I haue bein a stranger hithertills to euery thing concerns it, yit 
sine that hous ought to be as dear to me as any in the woreld, I desire not to mak 
my self one : and becaws the disposal of the young ladies is a matter of the 
greatest concernment, wherin no adwise was askid, and that I haue my ouen 
apprehensions that it is hight time to consider therof anew : and I desire for the 
futture yow uold not estrange from the family the nixt to it, bot study, in some 
measure, the satisfactione of thos whom one yow had likways trust of from Walter 
Earel of Buccleught, and to whom yit yow haue tays of affectione, which will 
neuer fail one hir part, nor one the part of 

Your affectionatly humble serwant, 


I did not know all your happines befor now that haue occasione of mor 
intimate acqwaintanc with your sone, and of him doe judge of the rest. 

For Sir William Scott of Harden. 1 

The efforts which the Earl of Tweeddale made to gain adherents among 
the tutors, are described by Gideon Scott, who puts the worst construction on 
the motives of the Earl. " Few did suspect," he says, " at this time, 2 how 
strongly and secretly my Lord Tweeddale had insinuat with these men who 
professed so highly for the interest of the family of Buccleuch ; nor could any 

1 Original Letter in Lord Polwarth's Char- the tutors of Countess Mary, to proceed to 
ter-room. London for the remission or mitigation of her 

2 The time when the Earl of Tweeddale fine, 
was appointed jointly with Gideon Scott by 


without breach of charity (at that time) suspect them ; nor what was my 
Lord Tweeddale's design under covert of that employment, until it did appear 
afterward at London by his underground machinations, and his clandestine 
actings apart from Heychesters, who was joined in commission with him/' 
" By these, and the like," he adds, " it did appear that he was insinuating 
with these in power to wrest the two young ladies out of their mother and 
tutors' custody, that they might be the more obnoxious to his disposal, or 
other designs : and for that effect was ingratiating with the Protector to 
have the power and disposal of the fines of these tutors who were fined (for 
his two special trustees, Clerkintown and Langshaw, were kept from being 
fined, which Mr. Deisborrough, another of his complices, could as easily do 
as help his opposites to be fined), that he might thereby have them in his 
reverence, and either oppress them or mancipat them to his designs : all 
which was obviated by Heychesters and made known by him to the Presi- 
dent of Oliver's Council and others, and to the tutors when he came home. 
Whereby my Lord Tweeddale's hopes seemed to be quite dashed at that 
time, until they were afterwards revived by the industry and sly practices 
of his secret friends and complices." 

He makes a serious charge against Langshaw, the agent of the Countess, 
of cancelling, or at least suppressing the report given in at first by my Lord 
Tweeddale to the tutors, and receiving another, which was more favourable, 
privately from him, and subscribed by him instead of the former; which 
Langshaw produced to the tutors nearly two years thereafter, being required 
thereto by Highchester, " and thought to have come off so by swearing a great 
oath (though none required it of him nor did accept thereof), that it was the 
very same report which my Lord Tweeddale gave to the tutors and subscribed 
at first, the contraire whereof was attested by Heychesters, and proven by 
the testimonie of Sir William Scot, Sir Gilbert Elliot, Gorrinberrie, and 
Thirlestaine, and instruments taken thereupon by Heychesters in a publick 
notar's hand before witnesses." 

" Another artifice which Clerkintown and Langshaw used for salving m[y] 


L[ord] T[\veeddale's] reputation was their dissembling friendship for Hey- 
chesters, in moving that he might not be further troubled with so long and 
tedious a journey and employment to the neglecting of his own affaires at 
home, wherewith Sir William Scott of Harden, his father, and himself were 
easily satisfied : notwithstanding that Heychesters had gotten applause 
in words even to excesse from these men, of his faithful and vigorous pro- 
secuting of his trust, and that he was likeliest to follow out that businesse 
effectually, he having already made a good progresse therein ; and their per- 
suading the tutors to employ Mr. Warde, a stranger both to the family and 
their businesse, whom they thought their confident, Mr. Deisborrough, could 

overawe." 1 

If there was any grievance here it was shared with the Earl of Tweeddale, 
who does not appear to have been employed by the tutors on the second 
occasion. Mr. Warde was chosen to represent them, as he was believed to 
possess much influence with the Government. The older tutors, Scotts- 
tarvit and Clerkington, probably suspected the motives of both the rivals. 

Highchester, who continually lauds the purity of his own motives, and 
denounces the sinister designs of his opponents, was using every means to 
strengthen his own position. He had gained the support of the Countess of 
Wemyss, and an understanding was arrived at between them for the purpose 
of out-manceuvring the Earl of Tweeddale and the tutors who were opposed 
to their designs. After the meeting of the tutors already noticed, he sent, on 
25th September 1654, a report of the proceedings to the Countess of Wemyss, 
expressing his belief that the Earl of Tweeddale was bent upon wresting the 
Countess of Buccleuch and her sister from the guardianship of the Countess. 
He insinuates that the Earl, to promote his designs, had induced Mr. 
Desborough to give credence to the report that the Countess intended to 
deliver her children into the hands of the enemies of the Commonwealth. 

1 " An Information of the condition of the June in the yeare 1650," by Sir Gideon Scott 
familie of Buccleuch and the most remark- of Highchester.— Original in Lord Polwarth's 
able occurrences therein, from the 14th of Charter-room. 


His representations are all calculated to increase and intensify the distrust 
which the Countess of Wemyss already bore to the Earl of Tweeddale, who, 
he warns her, is continually intriguing to gain the custody of the Countess 
Mary and her sister. 1 

There appears a continual apprehension on the part of the Countess of 
Wemyss and Highchester that the Earl of Tweeddale would succeed in 
getting control over the children. She writes to Highchester : — - 

Wemyss, 18 September (1654). 
Much honored Friend, — It lies plesed the Lord to aflick me with sicknes 
that this awght days I was not able to goe out of my chamber, bot my distemper 
is litle truble to me in regaird of it self, bot not a litle in that it kieps me from 
being able to wat on yow all, now when we are lyk to haue so much to doe. The 
Lord God of councell and wisdoom direct yow, for ther is no les aimed at then 
the ruin of my yung children, and the puting yow all that hes lawfull pour out 
of your stesion therin. Bot all my houp is that the Lord, uho knos your honost 
afection to thes young ons, uill preuent ther couetous auarrice which veil euer be 
the preyer of 

Your trwly obliged afectionet seruant, 

Margaret Leslie. 

If ye can com on day to me when ye haue lesur, I wold say much I canot 
wret. Bot for my obligasions to yow I most be silent. 

For my honored friend, Gidion Scot of Haychester. 2 

It was of the utmost importance for the triumph of Lady Wemyss and 
Highchester, that the children should remain in the power of the Countess 
of Wemyss and her relatives, and they resolved to invoke the interference of 
the Protector in their favour. The Earl of Wemyss proceeded to London 
and presented a petition to Cromwell, from the Countess of Wemyss, praying 
that she might retain the custody of her daughters until they had attained 
the age of eleven or twelve years. The petition is as follows : — 

1 Copy Letter in Lord Polwarth's Charter- - Original Letter in Lord Polwarth's Char- 

roorn. ter-rooiu. 


To his Highnes the Lord Protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland, etc. 

The humble Peticion of Margarett Countess of Wemyss. 
Sheweth, — That your petitioner hath beene made choice off by the tutors or 
trustees of her two daughters, heires to her late husband the Earl of Buccleuche, 
as the fittest person for theire education. Neverthelesse a strong endeavour hath 
beene made by the Earle of Tweiddaile, att a late meeteing of the said tutors att 
Edenburgh, to remoue them forthwith from her for the future, hee being none of 
that nomber, and that for certaine ends of his owne, his sonne being the next 
heire male to that ffamily. Your petitioner doth humbly conceiue that none on 
earth can be soe carefull to bring them vpp in the feare of the Lord and in all 
vertue then your petitioner. If it shall be otherwise ordayned, shee humbly leaues 
it to your Highnes to iudge what a heart breake it will be to her, they being 
tender and weakely children ; and further, it being declared by the lawes of Scot- 
land that the neerest of kynn is expressly prohibited from the trust of heires. 

Her humble suite therefore is that your Highnes would be gratiously pleased 
to recomend by way of letters to the aforesaid tutors or trustees, to con- 
tinue her with the said trust vntill her said daughters haue attayned 
the ages of 1 1 or 12 yeares, the eldest being alredy goeing on eight. 
And shee will euer pray, etc., 


To this petition a favourable answer was returned by Cromwell in the 
following letter to Sir "William Scott of Harden and the remanent tutors, 
recommending the same to their favourable consideration : — 

White Hall, the 17th of November 1654. 
Gentlemen, — Having received the inclosed peticion from the Countesse of 
Wemyss concerning her two daughters, heires to her late husband the Earle of 
Buccleiughe, that the educacion of them may be intrusted and continued to her 
vntill they atteyne vnto the age of eleaven or twelue yeares respectiuely, which 
seemes to vs to be very reasonable, her Ladyships relacion to those heires being 
1 Original Petition in Lord Polwarth's Charter-room. 
VOL. I. 2 U 


such as none can be presumed to be more fitt and meete for that trust, nor that 
wilbe more carefull in the mannagement thereof; and therefore we cannot but 
recomend the same to your consideracion, and rest 

Your loveins; Freind, 

For our loveing freinds Sir William Scott of Harden, and the rest of the trustees 
and tutors of the heires of the late Earle of Bucklue — These. 1 

The recommendation by the Protector was laid before a meeting of the 
tutors on 6th June 1655 by the Countess of Wemyss, who was present. 
This meeting was arranged for the month of April, but was adjourned at the 
request of the Countess of Wemyss. A letter was also produced from the 
Earl of Eothes, her brother, expressing his regret that pressing affairs kept 
him in London, and prevented him from being present at the meeting ; 
and thanking the tutors for their great respect to his sister, and for their 
care and fidelity to their trust of the Countess of Buccleuch's affairs, and 
wishing that for the continuance of her and her sister's good and well- 
being, their abode might be continued with their mother. 

The tutors having considered these communications, decided unanimously 
that, considering the great motherly care and affection of the Countess of 
Wemyss to her daughters, and her former good carriage towards them in 
their breeding and education, and in respect of the continuance of their 
health and good condition, they should remain with her until the eldest should 
be at least ten years of age, and longer thereafter during the tutors' pleasure. 

At the same meeting a letter was read from the Earl of Tweeddale, who 
was evidently chagrined at the failure of his projects to gain such influence 
over the action of the tutors as would further his own schemes. 
1 Original Letter in Lord Polwarth's Charter-room. 


Dumfermlinge, 4 June 1655. 
Honnorid Frinds, — Knowing how littel my pressenc with yow att this 
time could signify to the settling of the abode of the Countess of Buccleught, or 
the good of any the affairs of that family, and hawing sufficiently exonerid my 
self in that particular, I choose not to occasione unprofitable debait, beeing 
resolwed to submitt in my judgment to wiser, and in my will to higher, pouers, 
and to desire that God wold direct yow, in the particular yow meet for, shal be 
the only part of 

Your affectionatly humble Serwant, 


To his much honnorid Sir William Scott of Hardeen and the rest of the trustees 
and tutors of the Countes of Buccleught. 1 

The account of these proceedings by Gideon Scott of Highchester may also 
be given, due alloAvance being made for his strong prejudice against the tutors. 

" The tutors (considering the tendernesse of the young ladies) were willing to 
have it so, having no reason then to doubt but their mother would be most tender 
of their wellfare and health, and that in her custody they would be freest from 
the sinistrous attempts of any, but especially from him whose children were next 
airs of tailzie, who had made it his work to wrest the young ladies from their 
mother and tutors. Yet Clerkintoun and Langshaw did so uncessantly cajole 
old Sir William Scot of Harden (who had power over most of the other tutors) 
into a confidence of their honestie and integritie, that they prevailed with him 
(and consequently with the rest) that my Lady Weems' trust of her children 
should be but only for one yeare, and said that they could easily and would 
renew that trust again yearly, which was done accordingly for one yeare ; but 
afterwards it was found to be but a device of theirs for keeping the ladies 
unsetled as to their abode and custodie, untill they should be eleven or twelve 
years old (for at this time the one was about eight and the other about five 
years old), and untill my Lord Tweddaill's designs were ripe for snatching 
them from their friends and tutors, which was afterwards prevented (as ye shall 
heare) by setleing their abode with their mother untill they were twelve years of 
age compleate." 2 

1 Original Letter in Lord Polwarth's Charter-room. 

2 Information by Sir Gideon Scott. 


This is not a fair representation of what took place at the meeting. 
According to the entries in the Book of Sederunt, the tutors had on former 
occasions given permission for the custody of the children from year to year, 
renewing their consent annually. But at the meetiDg in June 1655, at 
which the letter of Cromwell was read, they decided unanimously that both 
children should remain with their mother until they were ten years of age, 
the Countess of Buccleuch being then scarcely eight, and her sister five. 
The entry for the 6th June 1655, at which meeting the Countess was 
present, is as follows : — 

" After reading and consideration of all the letters and petition, and withall 
considering the Countes of Weymes her great motherly care and affection to her 
daughters, and former good cariage towards them in there breading and educa- 
tion ; and in respect of the continuation of their health and good condition, the 
tutors, according to the trust put upon them be the late Earl of Buccleuche's 
testament, and to my Lord Protector's recommendation be his letter for the 
education of the two young ladies, have all of one consent, and also with the 
approbation of the noblemen and friends present, does resolve that the two young 
ladies should yet still remaine and abyd with the Countesse of Weymes ther 
mother, whill they, at least whill the eldest be of the age of ten yeirs compleit, 
and longer thereafter during the tutors' pleasure and their trust." * 

An augmentation of the allowance to the Countess of Wemyss for the 
board and education of her daughters was also made at the same meeting. 

Allusion has already been made to the gift to Lord Tweeddale by the 
tutors of the sum of £2647 Scots, being a remission of two years' interest 
of the principal sum which he was indebted to the late Earl of Buccleuch, 
as a recompense for his services in negotiating the reduction of the fine. 
This proceeding, which appears simple enough, has another signification to 
Gideon Scott. He sees in this transaction " a slie motion of Clerkintoun 
and Langshaw to old Sir William Scott and the rest, viz., that for peace and 
concord, and to oblidge my Lord Tweeddale hereafter (which they said 
they were confident it would do), they would give him an honourable 

1 Sederunt-Book of the Tutors. 


allowance for his having gone to London in the Lady's affaires, and to 
forget all that was past, which was easily condescended to by the tutors, 
they in charity judging that it might prove so. But the design of that 
motion was to gain that which they durst not require in plain language, 
viz., au effectual approbation of my Lord Tweddaill's carriage in that 
employment, which the gratifying him for his pains and travell with a con- 
siderable sowm of money, and marking it under their hands in the sederunt, 
did clearly import : whilst in the meantime, although they loaded Hey- 
chester with specious words and applause for his fidelity and diligence, yet 
they never so much as offered him the expenses of his journey till a long 
time after, that some of their number put them to it, which Heychesters was 
not seeking, nor did value, nor accept of when offered, being unaccustomed 
to serv for hire. 1 Neither did Langshaw (who had the trust and the writing 
of all that was done and past by the tutors under their hands) so much as 
ever mark in their sederunts, or other papers unto which the tutors put their 
hands, anything that might in the least import that which they all spoke 
frequently and with open mouth, viz., that Heychesters had carried himself 
faithfully and dutifully in his imployment at London, untill about a yeare there- 
after, that Heychesters perceiving their drift, did put them to it, and offered 
himself to their strictest examination in order to exoneration and approbation ; 
and thereupon required their verdict under their hands, as to his diligence in 
that employment, which none of them could then refuse, unlesse they had dis- 
covered themselves too early : whereupon all the tutors (except Scotstarvett, 
who was then at London) did unanimously and in ample termes under their 
hands approve, exoner, and thank Heychesters for his care and fidelity in his 
said employment." 2 

1 He certainly did receive payment for the to pay him the sum of ] 000 rnerks Scots in 

expenses of his journey in 1654, and acknow- addition, but there is no evidence of his hav- 

ledges in his report to the tutors that he had ing received that sum. He was playing for 

retained £65 sterling of the amount remitted a higher stake. — Sederunt Book of the Tutors, 

to London. The agent of the Countess of 21st December 1655. 

Buccleuch was also instructed by the tutors 2 Information by Sir Gideon Scott. 


Towards the end of the year 1655, Sir William Scott, elder of Harden, one 
of the three old tutors, two of whom were always to be of the five or quorum, 
died. Clerkingtoun and Langshaw had been intrusted with the custody of 
the charter-chests, and all the accounts of the tutors and other papers belong- 
ing to their discharge for their intromission and their trust and office, of 
tutory. After the death of Sir William, these two tutors, says Gideon Scott, 
" gave cleare ground to suspect their sinistrous purposes, by drawing Scots- 
tarvett (the other of the two sine quibus non then in life) and Bavilaw to their 
faction, who all four had infeft their children in their estates, whereby they 
were not so responsible for their malversation as the rest of the tutors, of 
whom none then had done the like." They also refused, when required 
by way of instrument, to intrust equally with the foresaid charter-chests, 
accounts, and other papers, Harden, Stobs, Highchester, Gorrinberrie, and 
Thirlestaine. This made the said five south country tutors, he adds, " suspect 
that the Lothian tutors intended to keep them in their reverence as to their 
discharge and exoneration of tutorie, and thereby to make them obsequious to 
whatsomever unwarrantable design the four Lothian tutors should contrive." 
Thus the nine tutors were divided, "the four Lothian tutors on the one 
partie, whereof the two sine quibus non were two, and the five south country 
tutors on the other, and neither partie could make a quorum." 1 

Highchester gained over to his support the whole of the south country 
tutors. Thus being divided into two equal parties, Gideon Scott was afraid 
that his purpose might be thwarted by the opposition of Scottstarvit and those 
of the Lothian tutors who supported him. He therefore decided on a bold 
stroke of policy. He induced the Countess of Wemyss to come over to 
Edinburgh to the next meeting of the tutors, and surprise the four Lothian 
tutors by demanding of the whole meeting the settlement of the custody of 
her two daughters, their pupils, with herself, until they were twelve years of 
age respectively. 

The Countess of Wemyss acted on this suggestion, and made her demand 
1 Information by Sir Gideon Scott. 


personally at the meeting of tutors held at Edinburgh on 13th August 1656. 
No opposition seems to have been offered by the tutors to this proposal. If 
any intention existed on the part of any of them, as alleged by Gideon Scott, 
to remove the Countess of Buccleuch and her sister from the custody of their 
mother, no signs of such intent are shown in the proceedings recorded. The 
tutors had been, from the time of the death of Earl Francis, reluctant to give 
up the absolute control over the young heiress to her mother, and had, as 
already related, renewed their consent annually to her continuance with the 
Countess of Wemyss, thus reserving power to interfere and alter the guardian- 
ship if that should become necessary. At a previous meeting the time had 
been extended till the children should reach the age of ten years. On the 
present occasion the tutors decided, " with one consent," to agree to the 
request of the Countess to retain the custody of the children until they 
reached the age of twelve years. 

The following is the minute to which the tutors agreed on this point : — 

"Edinburgh, 13th August 1656.' — All the tutors present, the Countess of 
Weymes also personallie present, and the tutores taking into consideration the 
desyre of the Countess of Weymes, now present, that the tyme of the custodie of 
her childrein, the Countess of Buccleuch and her sister, Lady Anna, be yet further 
continewed with her Ladyship, the haill tutores, with one consent, have thought 
it most requisit that the said two young ladyes abyd in the custody of their 
mother, the Countess of Weymes, untill they be of the age of twelff yeires compleit 
respective ; and for severall weightie reasones moveing the tutores, they do hereby 
recommend the custodie of the said young ladyes, their pupils, untill they be of 
the age of twelf yeires respective, unto the said Countess of Weymes, ther mother, 
being confident that her Ladyship (as she hes hitherto done) will continow her 
special! and tender care of the said young ladyes her daughteres, there persones 
and education, etc." 1 

Meanwhile Clerkington, another of the three sine quibus non tutors, died 
on the 22d December 1656. This event gave the majority to the party which 
supported Highchester. An alteration was made respecting the custody of 

1 Sederunt Book of the Tutors. 


the charter-chests, which were appointed to be still kept in the Countess's 
chamber in Langshaw's house, where the tutors usually met. The accounts 
and other papers relating to the intromissions of the tutors were put into one 
of them, and the keys of the chests placed in the custody of Sir William 
Scott of Harden and Sir John Scott of Scottstarvit. 1 

The death of Clerkington left Scottstarvit the only remaining tutor of the 
three named in the testament of Earl Francis, of whom two were sine quibus 
non. He now claimed to be tutor sine quo non, and to have a negative vote 
in all the proceedings. To this claim the other tutors demurred, and the 
opinion of counsel was taken. Sir John Gilmour and four other lawyers 
consulted gave their opinion adverse to the claim of Scottstarvit, who, 
however, would not concur, and deserted the meetings of the tutors for 
some time. 3 

The Countess of Wemyss, on hearing of the misunderstanding that had 
arisen between Scottstarvit and the rest of the tutors of Countess Mary, her 
daughter, wrote to him a conciliatory letter. Shortly after she also wrote 
a letter to Gideon Scott informing him of this, and she beseeches him to 
beware of the designs of the Earl of Tweeddale : — 

Wemyss, 6th Jana[ry] 1657. 
Honored Sir, — My Lord Scotstaruit wrets to me last day that he is going to 
quyt the tutorie, becaus he is not lyk to carie his doing of being still sine quo non. 
I haue ureton to him that I uish he may not be so onaduysed as ather to quyt 

1 The Buccleuch Muniments have on more which ended in the battle of Rullion Green, 
than one occasion narrowly escaped destruc- near Edinburgh, and on account of the pre- 
tion. They were removed from Sheriffhall to sence at that time of a Dutch squadron in 
Edinburgh on the marriage of the Countess- Leith Roads, the Charter-chests were placed 
Dowager to the Earl of Wemyss, and were for safety in Edinburgh Castle. The Cham- 
stored in a room hired for that purpose, from berlain Accounts contain disbursements for 
which they had to be hurriedly removed on two gratuities to the soldiers, and a sum of £15 
different occasions, on the occurrence of fires sterling "for a piece of silver plate to my 
in Edinburgh which endangered their safety. Lord Lyon, keeper of the castle, for their 
Reference has already been made to their care and paines." 

removal to the Bass in 1651. On the occa- 2 Sederunts of the Tutors of Mary, Countess 

sion of the insurrection in the west in 1666, of Buccleuch. 

that or pretend to mor then is the uill of the dead, uho put that trust on yow all. 
What he uill ansuer, or doe, I kno not, bot I am confident God uill derect yow to 
doe uhat ye intend uhich is absolootly my childrens good. Sir, I hier the Laird 
of Grenhead is going for London, and I intret yow to desyr him to haue ane ej 
on Twadell and his desings, forr he is not ydell to our hurt if he haue pour, bot 
my confidence is in him who lies alredie disapoynted his malisious intensions 
against me and myn, and uho I houp uill still doe so. My most humble seruice 
to your brother, and estiem mee your uery affectionet seruant, 

Margaret Leslie. 1 

At last Scottstarvit, yielding to the desire of the Countess of Wemyss, 
passed from his claim of being tutor sine quo non ; but in a letter written 
subsequently to the Countess he expresses regret at the course which he had 
taken at her request, as the removal of the check of his negative vote had 
given facilities for mismanagement of the Buccleuch estates : — 

23d April 1658. 
Madame, — Albeit at your last desire after the death of Clarkintoune, I con- 
descended, for peace amongst us, to let the controversie sleepe betwixt the tutors 
and me till the expiring of our pupill's tutorie, yet have since found that they 
have concluded amongst themselfes to ingrosse her Ladiship's estate to themselfes 
and friends without me ; and hath at this last meeting made ther own brother, 
Braidhauche's sone-in-law, Chamberlaine of the Forest, and to sett him downe in 
hir house of Newarke, and given him the rent thereof fore his fie (which might 
have been well doune by Braidhauche's selfe, who hath neare ane hundreth pounds 
sterling in pensione and fie yearly). 2 I thought fit to acquaint your Ladishippe 
with ther procedings that you may not be ignorant of the same, wich your Ladi- 
shippe would be pleased to consider of the particulars hereto subjoined with the 
reasons ; and to take soume speedy recourse as may teind best to the advantage 
of your Ladiship's daughter, and to bear witness of my care of that estate when 
I am gone ; for if ye had suffered me to have prosecuted my own right by law, 
and your Ladishippe had concurred with me therin, none of thir things would 

1 Original Letter in Lord Polwarth's Charter-room. 

2 Scottstarvit protested, at the meeting of tutors, against the appointment of Harden's 
brother, but was overruled. 

VOL. I. 2 X 


have fallen out, and any prejudice that comes to my pupill therby, I take God to 
witnesse that I am free of it. Expecting to hear your Ladiship's minde with the 
bearer, and wishing your Ladishippe and all your noble family, with my pupill 
and her sister, all happinesse, 

I am, 


Your humble servitour, 


At this time Mr. George Hutcheson, minister of St. Giles', Edinburgh, 
who had been one of the Commissioners sent to Breda to negotiate with 
King Charles the Second, dedicated his " Exposition of the Gospel of John," 
printed in 1657, to Mary, Countess of Buccleuch, and her mother the 
Countess of Wemyss. The dedication sets forth that — 

It hath been of old foreprophesied that in the perilous latter times there 
should be many murmurers and complainers (Jude ver. 1 6), who are seldom, if at 
all, satisfied with their lot and with the dispensations of God towards them, and 
that because (as is there added) they walk after their own lusts, and so cannot 
but quarrel what doth cross them in that woful course, and complain of their best 
and most useful enjoyments if they find not that satisfaction which they lust after 
in them, and we, in our times, have but too many sad experiences of distempers 
of this kind, evidencing the corrupt frame of our hearts, and our great distance 
from God occasioning these distempers. But right discerners will judge other- 
wise of the Lord's dealing ; they will submit unto, and acknowledge mercy in, 
what is profitable, though it be not pleasant, but grievous ; they will read and 
acknowledge mercy in what they feel and suffer, when they consider how much 
more they deserve ; and they will admire the mercies which are remembered and 
continued with them in the midst of wrath. Humility as it is a safe grace, and 
layeth a man low, beneath the violent blasts which shake the lofty cedars, so it is 
free of that unthankfulness wherewith pride is attended and plagued. 

At considerable length the author describes the uses of adversity, and 
the consolations derived in our misfortunes by the practice of piety. He 
1 Copy of Letter in Loril Polwarth's Charter-room. 


then bewails the prevalent hypocrisy of the time, that " since the profession 
of religion hath been in any reputation among us, how frequently do we 
find men make use of a pretence of piety to render their vilest errors 
plausible, yea, to carry on their selfish and carnal designs, whence it has come 
to pass that innocent and lovely holiness suffers for their sake," and is "so 
generally stumbled at through them." After further describing the scope of 
the work, he proceeds— 

I have made bold to present it to the world under your honourable names, 
and to join you together in this dedication whom God hath conjoined in the 
strict bond of nature, which is daily confirmed by that mutual respect, tenderness, 
and affection, which you bear one towards the other. 

It is not much my way, and I know your honours do not expect it, that I 
should stuff this application with large commendations of you, or with acknow- 
ledgments of your respects to myself, and your kindnesses towards others of 
my relations ; my great scope in it is, so to encourage you in the good way 
wherein both your honours are engaged in your several measures, as to excite 
and engage you yet more to imrjrove your eminency (as you are or may be capable 
of this service), for the advancement of Christ's interests in this backsliding and 
degenerate time ; not that Christ needeth any such help, who by weak things can 
confound the mighty, and by things that are not bring to nought things that are, 
but that it is your own true honour and interest not to be among those nobles of 
Tekoa who put not their necks to the work of the Lord, but to subject yourselves 
unto Him, and lay out yourselves in your stations, for promoving His kingdom and 
the advancement of piety and the work of the gospel. 

As for your honour, my Lady Weems, all the lovers of Christ in Scotland do 
with thankfulness remember their obligations to your late father, the right 
honourable Earl of Eothes, of precious memory, whom the Lord raised up to be 
a prime instrument in the late Eeformation, and who spent himself, till his last 
breath, in that public service. And those who know your ladyship best will bear 
witness that you have endeavoured in your sphere, to trace his steps, not only in 
your private and secret practice, but in your open countenancing and encouraging 
of godliness and honest ministers of the gospel at all occasions ; wherein I trust 
you shall be helped to persevere and abound unto the end. Your honour hatli 
received many favours from the Lord, particularly that he hath made you a joyful 


mother of children, who are (the Lord continuing their life, for which I pray) to 
succeed in several honourable families of the land, beside those of them who are, 
or may be placed in other families by marriage, which, I doubt not, you look upon 
as a strong obligation to lay forth yourself that they may prove friends to truth 
and piety in their station and generation ; in subserviency whereunto I have pre- 
sented this piece to your ladyship, as containing a brief hint at many of those 
precious truths which are necessary to salvation, and useful to be inculcated upon 
those who mind the way to heaven. 

And for your honour, my Lady Buccleuch, albeit by reason of your young and 
tender years, many of those truths here presented may transcend your capacity for 
present, yet as your grave, prudent, and sweet disposition and behaviour, your 
opposition to profanity, and respect to the Sabbath-day, and your careful observ- 
ance of such duties of religion as your tender age is capable of, do much refresh 
those who are concerned in you and converse with you (as being things not usual 
in so tender an age, especially in one who wants not sufficient baits of worldly 
advantages and contentments to divert you), and do give good ground of hope 
that, if the Lord continue you, you shall prove an ornament to your dignity and 
station ; so it hath engaged me to prefix your name also to this piece as an incite- 
ment to you to proceed in that good course, and that your ladyship may have a 
help ready at hand, from whence, as you grow up, you may drink in that sound 
doctrine which is according to godliness. 

Now that the Lord himself may bless you both, in all your relations and 
concernments, may continue you long together, may make you a blessing to each 
other, and may bless this and the like means unto you, for your furtherance in 
faith and godliness, till you come to your eternal rest, is the hearty prayer of 
Your honours' obliged servant in the gospel, 

George Hutcheson. 

As an encouragement to the author, and in acknowledgment of his 
dedication, the tutors of Countess Mary, on 30th November 1658, ordered 
payment to be made to him of 400 merks. 

The policy of Gideon Scott of Highchester and the Countess of Wemyss, 
as to the custody of the two young ladies, had so far been successful. It 
now only remained for them to make use of the advantage gained by the 
custody of the Countess of Buccleuch being confided to her mother, until 


she was of the legally marriageable age of twelve years. A number of 
designs were projected by various persons for her disposal in marriage. Of 
these the most formidable, and that which occasioned most fear to the 
Countess of Wemyss and Highchester, was the proposal to marry the 
Countess of Buccleuch to the son of the Earl of Tweeddale. According 
to the statement of Gideon Scott, the Earl was still intent in prosecuting 
this scheme, and had gained to his support three of the principal judges, — 
Brodie, Dalrymple, and Ker, — and also the chief legal adviser of the Countess, 
Sir John Gilmour, besides having secured in England the influence of General 
Lambert. His success was therefore not improbable, and Gideon Scott was 
much alarmed at the favourable prospects of Tweeddale. 1 

Highchester also alleges that Scottstarvit had a design to marry the 
Countess to his son, or one of his grandchildren, but that, being disappointed 
in that scheme, he proceeded to London, and representing himself as the 
tutor sine quo non having the disposal of the greatest heiress in Britain, he 
offered her to the son of Mr. Scott of Scottshall, in Kent. John Scott of 
Gorrinberrie is also said to have made overtures to the Countess of Wemyss 
to promote a marriage between his son and the Countess of Buccleuch. 

A proposal was also made for a union between the Countess and Lord 
Kerr, son of the Earl of Lothian ; 2 and the Earl of Rothes appears to have 
given some encouragement to a project for an alliance with one of the 
Howard family. 

Mr. Bobert Baillie mentions in one of his letters the expectation of a 
marriage between the Countess and the heir of the Earl of Eglinton. But 

1 The Earl of Wemyss, in a letter to High- 2 A document dated 165S, in Lord Pol- 
chester, dated 3d June 1659, states that in warth's Charter-room, designated "Aneaduyse 
the previous year Tweeddale had tried to of a f reend to the Countesse of Lothiane," con- 
persuade him to "befreindhim iu geting my tains a number of suggestions in favour of a 
Lady Buckleuch to his owin sone, and I sould marriage between the Countess of Buccleuch 
cutt and carve in his estate to doe the same : and Robert Lord Kerr, afterwards Marquis 
yea he sould subscryve ane blank to me for of Lothian, 
that favor." Copy Letter in Lord Polwarth's 


" the Earl of Eglinton's heir, the Master Montgomrie, convoying his father to 
London, runns - away without any advyce, and maries a daughter of my Lord 
Dumfries, who is a broken man, when he was sure of my Lady Balclough's 
marriage, the greatest match in Brittain ; this unexpected prank is worse to 
all his kinn than his death would have been." 1 

The Countess of Buccleuch was now eleven years of age, and in a few 
months the time allotted by the tutors for her continuance in the custody of 
her mother would elapse. In the meantime the intrigues of the Earl of 
Tweeddale might become successful, and the plan of the Countess of Wemyss 
and her friends be frustrated. They determined therefore by a bold stroke 
to anticipate the age at which the Countess might legally marry, aud to 
hasten and complete the celebration of her marriage with Walter Scott, eldest 
son of Gideon Scott of Highchester, before she had completed the twelfth 
year of her age, Walter Scott was born on the 23d December 1644, and 
only in his fifteenth year. Their proceedings were conducted with the utmost 
secrecy, and concealed from the tutors who were not favourable until it was 
too late for any effective interference. 2 

The Earl of Wemyss wrote in his own name and that of the Countess, 
requesting Highchester's presence at the Wemyss with his eldest son. 
Highchester went first alone, and arranged that his son should be taken 
there on his way to the College of St. Andrews. The youth, who was then 
fourteen years of age, accordingly visited the Wemyss, and was detained 

1 Letter to Mr. Spang, written apparently 
in June 1658. — Baillie's Letters, vol. iii. p. 366. 
Highchester in his narrative states that Mr. 
Desborough sent a threatening message to 
Lady Wemyss " if she should dispose of her 
'laughters to the enemies of the Common- 
wealth (meaning my Lord Montgomerie)." 
Desborough is said by Highchester to have 
attempted to gain the hand of the Countess 
for his own son. 

2 So well were the preparations concealed 

from the opposing tutors, that, according to 
the statement of Highchester, Scott of Gorrin- 
berrie, one of these tutors, brought his own 
son to the Wemyss only two days before the 
marriage, in order to propose to the Countess 
of Wemyss a marriage between his son and 
the Countess Mary, " and when he saw the 
bridegroom and the tutors and friends, he 
went away impatient through shame and dis- 
appointment." — Information by Sir Gideon 


there by the Countess of Wemyss three or four days. During that time, says 
Highchester, he gained the affection of the young Countess 'of Buccleuch, 
and the favour of her mother and all her relations. 

A meeting was afterwards convened, consisting of the husband and rela- 
tions of the Countess of Wemyss, the Scotts of Harden, and Highchester, 
and Sir Gilbert Elliot of Stobs, with Patrick Scott of Langshaw, and Laurence 
Scott of Bavelaw, two of the tutors, who having been induced to support the 
scheme, were now consulted as to its being carried into execution. It was 
decided that no time should be lost in proceeding with the marriage. 

Mary, Countess of Buccleuch, around whom these various schemes were 
moving, was of a weakly constitution, and judging from the frequency of 
entries of payments made for surgeons, apothecaries, and consultations by 
physicians respecting her health, both immediately preceding the date of her 
marriage and soon afterwards, the state of her health at that time must have 
been critical. In December 1658, two months before the marriage, a payment 
of £200 sterling was made to the Countess of Wemyss to reimburse her for 
charges for "doctours, apothecaris, and chirurgeons" attending the Countess 
of Buccleuch, " who hath beine often subject to seiknes some yeires past, and 
having a runing sore in her arme yet under cure." Eighteen months after 
this the arm appears still uncured. 1 

No consideration for the young Countess seems to have influenced the 
promoters of the marriage, whose chief aim was to hurry on the ceremony 
before Scottstarvit and the remaining tutors became aware of their designs. 
In order that these might be accomplished with secrecy and despatch, the 
Earl of Wemyss and Sir Gilbert Elliot of Stobs demanded from the Presby- 
tery of Kirkcaldy a dispensation from the proclamation of public banns, the 
Presbyteries having power in urgent cases to dispense therewith. The 
Presbytery granted the demand, and ordered one of their number, Henry 
Wilkie, minister of Wemyss, the parish in which the Countess resided, to 

1 " Payeil to phisitians and chirurgeons arme," £1018 Scots. — Buccleuch Chamberlain 
at a consultation anent curing the Countess Accounts, April 1660. 


proceed forthwith to her residence and marry her to Walter Scott, son of 
Gideon Scott of Highchester. The Act of Presbytery is as follows : — 

" Kirkcaldie, 9 February 1659. 
" The whilk day the Right Honorable the Earle of Wemyes and Sir Gilbert 
Eliot of Stobbs, knight, desyring a warrand from the Presbitrie to Mr. Henry 
Wilkie, minister at Wemyes, or any other minister, to solemnize the mariage 
betuixt the right honorable lady, the Lady Mary Scott, Countes of Buccleuch, 
with the Right Honorable Walter Scott of Heychester, younger, without pro- 
clamation, becaus of some necessary exigence asserted by the said Earle of 
Wemyes and Sir Gilbert Eliot ; and withall having presented to the Presbitrie 
the principall contract of mariage subscryved be themselffis and the pairties 
mainly concerned : Lykwayes alledging ane Act of the Generall Assemblie at 
Glasgow 1638, allowing Presbitries to grant warrand for mariage without pro- 
clamation in caice of necessary exigence. The Presbitrie considering the foirsaid 
desyr, contract, and Act of the Generall Assemblie, did unanimouslie agrie to give 
warrand, and be thir presents gives warrand to the said Mr. Henry Wilkie, or 
any other minister, to celebrat the said mariage without proclamatioun." 

Mr. Johne Meldrome, Moderator. 

Mr. A. Miller, Scrib to the Presbytrie of Kirkcaldie. 1 

On the 9th of February 1659, the same day on which the dispensation 
was granted, the marriage of Mary, Conntess of Buccleuch, and Walter Scott, 
younger of Highchester, afterwards created Earl of Tarras, was celebrated in 
the parish church of the Wemyss by Mr. Henry Wilkie, minister of the 
parish. There were present the Earl and Countess of Wemyss, the Earl of 
Rothes her brother, Lord Balgonie her son, Lord Melville her son-in-law, 
and the five tutors already named. 

The contract of marriage is dated at Wester Wemyss, 9th February 1659. 
The contracting parties were Gideon Scott of Highchester, for himself, and 
taking the burden on him for his son Walter Scott, on the one part ; and on 

1 Extract Act in Lord Polwarth'a Charter- riage, and her signature and initials M. C. B., 

room. On a blank leaf in her Bible, Countess with the coronet for an Earl or Countess. 

Mary wrote with her own hand the date The Bible is in Loid Polwarth's Library. 
February 9, 1659, being the date of her mar- 



the other Mary, Countess of Buccleuch, with consent of the Countess of 
Wemyss her mother, and of David, Earl of Wemyss, the Earl of Eothes, 
Alexander Lord Balgonie, George Lord Melville, and the tutors previously 
named. The Countess of Buccleuch bound herself to make resignation 
of the honour, title, and dignity of the earldom of Buccleuch, and all her 
lands, lordships, etc., in favour of, and for new infeftment to be made to 
Walter Scott, her husband, in liferent, of the honours and lands of the 
earldom, extending to the sum of £24,000 Scots, in liferent. In the event of 
Walter Scott surviving his wife, this sum was to be increased to £48,000 Scots 
annually. It was also provided, that in case the Countess predeceased her 
husband within a year and a day of the date of the contract, and without 
issue, he was to receive the sum of £120,000 Scots, to be paid to him within 
the space of three years after her decease. It was also expressly provided, 
that in the event of the Countess of Buccleuch and her sister Lady Anna 
Scott both dying without issue, a further sum of 28,000 merks yearly was to 
be paid to him by the heirs of tailzie. The contract further provided that in 
the event of the Countess of Buccleuch contracting a second marriage, and an 
heir-male being subsequently bom, any daughters born of the first marriage 
should receive the sums specified in the contract as follows : If there was 
but one daughter, one hundred thousand merks was to be paid to her on 
reaching the age of fourteen years ; if there were two daughters, to the 
eldest sixty thousand, and to the other daughter forty thousand merks ; 
and if there were three or more, the eldest should receive forty thousand 
merks, and the remaining sixty thousand be equally divided between the 

On the same day that the marriage-contract was signed, an agreement 
was entered into by the parties to the contract, by which it was provided 
that the Countess of Buccleuch and her husband should reside with the Earl 
and Countess of Wemyss until she reached the age of eighteen years. The 
amount to be paid for the maintenance of the Countess, her husband and 
servants, was sixteen thousand pounds Scots yearly. In addition to this, a 

vol. i. 2 Y 


further sum of eight thousand pounds was to be paid to the Countess of 
Wemyss for the expenses of the contract and the marriage festivities. 1 

Scarcely had the celebration of the marriage become known, when the 
opposing tutors and the overseers appointed by Earl Francis took measures 
to procure its reduction and abrogation. A formal difficulty had first to be 
overcome. Under the Protectorate considerable changes had taken place in 
the civil and judicial administration of Scotland. The Commissary Judge was 
competent to decide as to the validity of the marriage, but there was at that 
time no judicatory in Scotland with powers to sequestrate married persons 
pending the decision of their case. These duties had formerly been per- 
formed by the Privy Council, which was now in abeyance. But this obstacle 
was removed by the Judges appointed by the Protector in Scotland assum- 
ing this power. Accordingly a summons for reduction of the marriage was, 
only a few days after its celebration, raised before the Commissaries at Edin- 
burgh. The parties to it were Sir John Scott of Scottstarvit, Patrick Scott of 
Thirlstane, John Scott of Gorrinberrie, tutors to the Countess of Buccleuch 
and Lady Anna Scott, Gilbert Earl of Errol, John Earl of Mar, Alexander 
Earl of Eglinton, William Earl of Koxburgh, and John Earl of Tweeddale, 
overseers appointed by Francis, Earl of Buccleuch. The Earl of Tweeddale 
also appeared as the husband of Lady Jean Scott, Countess of Tweeddale, 
nearest of kin to the Countess of Buccleuch and her sister. 

It was pleaded in favour of the reduction of the marriage that the 
Countess was a pupil and a minor little over eleven years of age, and that 
Walter Scott was under the age of fourteen ; that she could not therefore 
contract or solemnise marriage. It was further alleged that the Countess 
had not given her free and deliberate consent, but had been allured and 
seduced thereto by her mother and Gideon Scott and the remanent tutors, 
their accomplices, who were nearly related to him, Sir William Scott of 
Harden being his brother, and Gilbert Elliot of Stobbs his cousin. Not 
having attained to years of discretion, and incapable of discerning what 
1 Original Contracts in Lord Polwarth's Charter-room. 


tended to her own weal and honour, it is said that she had yielded to the 
blandishments and enticements of her advisers. 

Measures were immediately taken by the promoters of the marriage to 
counteract these proceedings. A petition was presented by them to the 
Commissioners for Public Affairs, appointed by the Commonwealth for the 
administration of justice in Scotland, with the object of showing that the 
Countess of Buccleuch had, with the consent of her mother and five of 
the tutors, been solemnly married in face of the Church, conformably to the 
destination and will of her father, and to the tailzie of his dignity and estate. 
They asserted further that these proceedings for reduction had been taken 
at the instance of malicious persons, who were disappointed that their own 
designs for disposing of the Countess had been defeated Especially was 
this the case, it was asserted, with the Earl of Tweeddale, who is charged 
with covetous designs upon her fortune, his children being the next heirs in 
succession, in the event of the decease of the Countess and her sister without 
issue. The petitioners concluded by supplicating the Commissioners to 
forbear granting any order or deliverance for putting restraint on the person 
of the Countess or her husband. 

The petitioners having undertaken to bring the Countess to Edinburgh 
till the supplications were answered, the Commissioners thereupon, on 19th 
February, ordained the cause to be heard on the next Tuesday, the Countess 
in the meantime to be brought to Edinburgh without delay, and placed in 
custody of the Countess of Cassillis. 1 

Scottstarvit and the tutors and overseers who were acting with him 
made a further application to the Commissioners on 23d February for the 
sequestration of the Countess of Buccleuch, alleging that " be reason of the 
frailitie of her yeires and judgement she might still be subject and obnoxious to 
the sinistrous practices of her mother and tutors, and overawed be them to 
hold on in the samen course whereunto at first shee hes bein seduced be them, 
whereas if shee wer sequestrat from ther companie, and at her owne free- 
1 Copy of the Petition in Lord Polwarth's Charter-room. 


dome, shee would quicklie be sensible of the ruin and dishonour which they, 
for their own ends, have precipitat her unto, and would frielie declare her 
own thoughts and intention, and by what nienes she wes seduced or com- 
pellit to give any pretended consent to the comploted clandestine mariadge." 
Therefore they prayed the Commissioners that they would ordain her to be 
placed in the custody of the Countess of Mar or the Countess of Cassillis, both 
near relatives of the Countess of Buccleuch, or any other person of honour 
not interested in the cause. 1 

According to the orders of the Judges, the Countess was speedily brought 
to Edinburgh, and being privately interrogated by the Court, declared her 
own free choice of her husband, avowed the consummation of the marriage, 
and affirmed her resolution of adhering thereto. She was then placed in 
charge of Lady Lome, whose brother-in-law, Lord Neil Campbell, second son of 
Archibald, Marquis of Argyll, was intended, it is alleged, for her husband, in 
the event of the reduction of the marriage. The Judges having sequestrated 
the person of the Countess of Buccleuch, nominated five ladies, from whom 
the Countess of Wemyss and her abettors were to choose one in whose custody 
the Countess Mary was to be placed. These ladies were the Countess of 
Mar, Lady Alexander, the Countess of Kinnoul, sister-in-law of the Marquis 
of Argyll, Lady Kenmure his own sister, and Lady Lome his daughter-in- 
law. This proposal was not, however, acceptable to the Countess of Wemyss 
and her friends, who desired that the Countess should be placed at Dalkeith 
in the custody of General Monck. To this request the Commissioners, after 
some hesitation, agreed, and ordained accordingly on 26th February, only a 
fortnight after the celebration of the marriage, that the Countess should 
remain with General Monck and his lady until the action of reduction was 
determined, or until she had attained the age of twelve years. 

The exasperation of the Countess of Wemyss and Highchester at this 
decision was extreme. They decided that he should at once proceed to 
London, armed with a commission granted to him and the Earl of Wemyss, 

1 Double of the Petition by Scottstarvit and others in Lord Polwarth's Charter-room. 


to which the signature of the Countess Mary had been obtained. He was 
to entreat the favour of the Protector, Eichard Cromwell, and his Council, 
and justify to them the whole proceedings connected with the marriage. 
Fears of the success of Tweeddale in obtaining possession of the Lady Anna 
were still prominently shown by the Countess of Wemyss, and Highchester 
was desired to crave from the Protector a confirmation of her guardianship 
in the custody of her mother. He was enjoined by the Earl and Countess 
of Wemyss to spare no outlay of money in order to achieve these results. 1 
Highchester accordingly presented to the Protector a petition, praying that 
as the Commissary Court at Edinburgh, which was the only competent 
authority to decide the process, was at that time reduced to a much less 
number than was suitable or conform to the original institution, and as the 
present Commissioners, considering the importance of the cause, had appealed 
to the Supreme Court of Justice to appoint assessors to assist them therein, 
that therefore his Highness would appoint as assessors General Monck and 
Judge Moseley. It was further desired that during the dependence of the 
cause, and also in the event of the marriage being annulled, the custody of 
the Countess Mary should remain with General Monck until she was of the 
age of twelve years, and so could legally ratify her consent to the marriage. 
The renewal of an order was also desired for the guardianship of the Lady 
Anna Scott, that she might be secured from " the masked and subtle designs " 
of the Earl of Tweeddale and his accomplices, the Countess of Wemyss offer- 
ing to find caution that she should not be disposed of in marriage until of 
the age of twelve years complete. 2 

The sequestration of the Countess of Buccleuch having been ordained, the 
anxiety of the Countess of Wemyss to have her daughter placed in the 
custody of Monck, and to have him appointed assessor, is explained by sub- 

1 The amount of money disbursed by High- to Gideon Scott, and !Note of Disbursements, 

Chester during his stay in London on that in Lord Polwarth's Charter-room, 
occasion was £30,000 Scots. — Original Com- 2 Certified copy of Petition, etc., in Lord 

mission, Abstract of Letters written by and Polwarth's Charter-room. 


sequent events. Lady Wemyss acted as the medium of communication 
between Monck and the party who were concerting measures for the Bestora- 
tion of King Charles the Second, and would consequently have considerable 
influence with the General, which she would no doubt use to further her 

Meanwhile the opponents of the marriage were not idle. The three 
opposing tutors, Scottstarvit, Gorrinberrie, and Thirlestane, and the Earl of 
Tweeddale, also presented a petition to the Protector, in reference to the 
guardianship of the Lady Anna Scott. The Countess of Wemyss, it was 
alleged, had betrayed her trust by bestowing the Countess Mary in marriage 
on a person of quality and condition by no means suitable, without the 
knowledge and consent of the tutors and overseers and friends of the family. 
On that ground it was apprehended that their pupil, the Lady Anna, could 
not remain in security in the house of the Earl and Countess of Wemyss, nor 
without hazard of the like practice. It was, therefore, desired that his 
Highness would recommend to the Council and Judges in Scotland to order 
the removal of the Lady Anna from the custody of her mother, the Countess 
of Wemyss. 1 

Both of these petitions were referred to a Committee of Council. But 
while they were still under consideration Bichard Cromwell resigned, and 
Gideon Scott presented another petition, in similar terms, to the Parliament 
of the Commonwealth, setting forth that Tweeddale, taking advantage of the 
present posture of affairs, was pressing for a decision on the ground that the 
Beference to the Committee of Council was null in consequence of the re- 
signation of the Brotector. 

Further to promote the reduction of the marriage, Sir John Scott of 
Scottstarvit brought a complaint against the Presbytery of Kirkcaldy before 
the provincial Synod of Fife, for their action in dispensing with the procla- 
mation of banns. He was there present, and moved the Synod to censure 
the Presbytery. But after discussion the Synod declared that the Presby- 
1 Certified Copy of Petition in Lord Polwarth's Charter-room. 


tery had done nothing contrary to any known Act of the Church. The 
proceedings threatened at one stage to take an alarming form, " for this 
busines was vigorously pressed in the Assemblie by the Lord Scotstaruet, and 
defended by the Earl of Weyms, who, in feace of the Assemblie said as mutch 
as appealed the said Scotstaruet to a combatt ; for the said Scotstaruet 
speaking of the house of Harden, said if the lady had maried his sonne or his 
oye (grandson) ther had beine no staine vpon hir : Bot Weyms took this so 
highly, that he said to him, that if he had not a respect to those his gray 
hares, he sould make him make that good before he sleiped ; bot the mode- 
rator commanded them both silence." 1 

The deliverance of the Synod was in the following terms : — 

St. Andrewes, 7 April 1659. 
The Provinciall Assemblie of Fiffe, having considered the bill and petition of 
Sir John Scott of Scottistarvett against the Presbitrie of Kirkcaldie, for their dis- 
pensing the proclamation of the banns of the marriage of the Eight Honourable 
Walter Scott of Haychester, younger, with the noble lady, Mary, Countes 
of Buccleuch ; as also the answer of the Presbitrie of Kirkcaldie to the said peti- 
tion, did put to voting whither a present answer should be given to the premises 
according to the tenor of the foresaid petition or not : Whereupon the Assemblie 
determined to give a present answer, and accordinglie did conclude that they found 
no ground to blame the Presbitrie of Kirkcaldie for what they hade don in the 
forsaid mater, as contrarie to any known Act of this Kirk. 

Eobert Blair, Moderator. 

Mr, A. Kaitt, Clerke to that Meitting. 2 

The Act of Assembly of 1638, on which the Presbytery of Kirkcaldy pro- 
fessed to act, is as follows : — " Anent mariage without proclamation of bans, 

1 Diary of Mr. John Lamont of Newton, then before the Civil Courts. Extract of 

]>. 114. Scottstarvit also presented a peti- Presbytery Records, 23d March 1659, in 

tion to the Presbytery of Edinburgh, request- Lord Polwarth's Charter-room, 

ing them to give an opinion on the case, but 2 Extract of Proceedings in Lord Polwarth's 

they declined to pass judgment on a process Charter-room. 


which being in use those years bygone hath produced many dangerous effects : 
The Assembly would discharge the same, conforme to the former Acts, except 
the Presbyterie in some necessarie exigents dispense therewith." 1 

Taken by itself, this Act would seem to give the Presbytery general 
powers of dispensation. But it was only meant to take effect if the intended 
marriage were otherwise legal. An Act of the Assembly of 1600 expressly 
forbids the celebration of marriages such as that for which the Synod could 
find " no ground to blame the Presbytery" for dispensing with the ordinary 
form, alleging that their procedure was not " contrary to any known Act of 
this Kirk." The Act of 1600, passed purposely to prevent such cases of 
" untymous marriage of young and tender persones before they come to age 
meit for marriage," ordains " that no minister within this realme presume to 
joyne in matrimonie any persones in tyme comeing, except the man be of 
fourteen yeares and the woman of twelve yeares at the leist." 2 The Pres- 
bytery, therefore, dispensed with proclamation, in order to allow the minister 
of Wemyss to perform an illegal act, expressly forbidden by the law of the 
Church. They had no dispensing power in the case of minors, and the 
celebration of the marriage being directly against the Church law, it is ver} r 
remarkable that the Synod found " no ground to blame the Presbytery " for 
their action in the matter. That the minister of Wemyss and the Presby- 
tery of Kirkcaldy should be influenced by the powerful houses of Eothes 
and Wemyss is perhaps not surprising, but it is a lamentable fact that a 
provincial Synod should have been so subservient as to declare an approval 
of their action. At a future time when the Earl of Eothes deemed it his 
interest to join the opposing tutors, he found many of the clergy of Fife and 
elsewhere equally pliable. Highchester, who would not willingly vilify his 
own party, remarks that when it became " apparent eneugh to men of under- 
standing how the commissare would determine in the businesse if he had 
not been marred by the change of the Government, his [Rothes'] greatest 

1 Acta of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, 1638, sec. xxi. 

2 Booke of the Universal Kirke, p. 481. 


confidents such as Mr. Sharpe (at London), 1 and others in the Synod of Fyfe 
and elsewhere in Scotland, whom he was supposed to have most power over, 
were going crosse to the marriage." 2 

The influence of the covenanting clergy was also brought to bear on the 
case in another form. Highchester, who was Sheriff of Eoxburghshire, induced 
a number of ministers in the south to address a letter, signed by sixteen of 
them, to Mr. Luke Ogle, minister at Berwick, who was proceeding to London 
on some business connected with the Church, desiring him to exert himself 
while there to frustrate the attempts to reduce the marriage. Beferring to 
the marriage they say of Gideon Scott of Highchester that — 

" The Lord hath cast in his lap, ■without his procurement (we are confident 
to say it) the maryage of the Countesse of Buckcleuch to his eldest sonne, 
wherin her mother, the now Countess of Weems, a godlie and judicious lady 
did indeed for weighty reasons anticipate by four or five moneths the ordinary 
time of young women's mariage, and did conceale the same from some few of 
the tutors and freinds, who had made it evident that they had designed that 
morsell for their owne mouths, but following the direction of her deceased Lord, 
and the advice of a greater part and a quorum of the tutors, and other honourable 
freinds, did make choise of the most faithfull and deservedly honoured family of 
the name of Scott in this land. But we doe not weigh thes things, neither is it to 
us of any moment who enjoy those outward things that are accompted great in this 
world ; but when we consider that this gentleman and his brother Sir William 
have been among the chief countenancers and promovers of piety in this part of 
the land, upon which accompt the opposition made by some for their private 
interest and disappointment, doth to our certaine knowledge receave accession and 
strenth from the bulk of a disaffected party, both ministers, by whose industrious 
insinuations'even some good men, wanting sufficient information, have receaved noe 
good impression of the businesse ; remembering also there are toward 20 or 24 
churches, most of them in this province where we live, in the planting whereof the 
Earle of Buccleuch will have a great interest, by all which we find those of our 
acquaintance who are trouly religious doe much lay to heart the success of that 
maryiage. We are therefore pressed to intreat you, sir, if you have acquaint- 
ance with any of the Farliament or Councell of State, that you would use your 
1 Afterwards Archbishop Sharpe. 2 Information by Sir Gideon Scott. 

VOL. I. 2 Z 


utmost' endevonr, that not onely noething be done in prejudice of the maryiage, but 
that the custody and bestowing of the younger lady be not taken from her mother, 
or given as a reward to them who have gone about to disgrace, and may labor to 
make her an engine for ruine of her elder sister.'' 1 

It appears from this letter that there were a few " good men " who had 
" receaved noe good impression of the businesse." It is probably one of these 
to whom the Countess of Wemyss refers when she writes to Highchester. 
" I regrait I writ to Mr. Gillespie, since his overture is the hight of injustice 
and Twadd ail's onley designe." 2 

The Commissary, Sir John Nisbet of Dirleton, the famous lawyer, at 
length, on 20th April, pronounced an interlocutor sustaining the plea of the 
pursuers, that the Countess of Buccleuch was a pupil within the age of twelve 
years, as relevant to reduce the marriage and make it void in law. On that 
ground he therefore dissolved the marriage. This decision greatly incensed 
the Countess of Wemyss and her friends, and they at once decided to appeal 
against it. Her indignation at the judgment of the Commissary was so 
extreme that she expresses her desire to Highchester, " if it be in our power, 
we ought to studie to get him put out of his place. He is a malicious knave. 
I am not in patience when I speak or writ of him." 3 The Commissary is 
charged with partiality by the party of the Countess, he having, they alleged, 
placed difficulties in the way of the appeal, and adjourned his Court for that 
purpose. Not much weight can be placed in these charges, as both parties 
were doing their utmost to bring such influence to bear on the Judges as 
would altogether prevent any impartial judgment. 4 

Whilst these proceedings were still unsettled, the Protectorate of Kichard 
Cromwell had come to an end, and the change in the Government raised 

1 Original Letter in Lord Polwarth's Char- 4 A Letter to Highchester, dated 1 1th June, 
ter-room. suggests that " it was not thought expedient 

2 Abstract of Letters by and to Sir Gideon to speak to Comissar Nisbet about your offer- 
Scott, in Lord Polwarth's Charter-room. ing him a bryb, in regard his wife was dying." 
k 3 Original Letter in Lord Polwarth's Char- — Abstract of Letters to Sir Gideon Scott, 


doubts as to the authority of the Court. The appeal from the decision' of the 
Commissary to the Parliament of the Commonwealth, which is dated 20th 
May 1659, states as one of the grounds of appeal that an Act of Parliament 
of 11th May had nullified the jurisdiction of the judges, and ordained that 
all processes should from that date be in the name of the " Keepers of the 
Liberty of England." The Countess of Wemyss is enabled to report on 9th 
June, " I am glad that the unjust Judges are like not to sit, and that we are 
reed of the Commissar, whose knavery many indifferent persons did perceave." 
The death of the Commissary's wife about this time is looked on by the 
Countess in the light of a judgment on him for his conduct. She writes to 
Gideon Scott, " The Lord continue your expectation of successe, and cause men 
befreind our just cause. Commissar Nisbet's mariage, by the death of his wife, 
was dissolved that same week he promised to dissolve my daughter's, and he is 
lyke to lose his wits for sorrow. This I could not bot observe." 1 The death of 
Lady Nisbett is also noticed by Gideon Scott as " a remarkable providence." 2 
Attempts were made by the Marquis of Argyll, Warristoun, and others to 
effect an amicable arrangement between the Countess of Wemyss and the 
Earl of Tweeddale. Overtures were made to Highchester for a marriage 
between the son of the Earl and Lady Anna Scott. Provided that were 
granted, they offered to secure the interest of Highchester's son as he pre- 
scribed. But to this proposal the Countess of Wemyss was wholly opposed. 
She writes to Highchester — " We can doe noe more bot appeall, and it's like 
it will be remitted back to the Judges again ; but this is the onely mean. 
For agreement with Twaddaill, I know it is Argyll, Wariston, and Swinton 
who contrys that designe, but treuly I doe not see wherein ye can make any 
form of agreement with him for what concerns my daughter. But the worst 
is done already. And, for her sister, I think Twaiddail's interrest in her is 
none at all, nor never shall, soe far as I can have power ; and for any other 
mean of agreement it must be the monie which he ows my doughter." In 
that case the Countess will show no favour " to that ungrait, false man, who 
1 Abstract of Letters to Sir Gideon Seott. " Information by Sir Gideon Scott. 


lies put so manie taskes on her and her relations, and occasioned her name to 
be the discourse of many thousands." 1 

Whilst it still remained doubtful if a final decision on the case would be 
given by the Court, the Earl of Eothes, who was supposed to be a staunch 
friend of the Countess of Wernyss and Highchester, was taking measures to 
secure himself in either case of success or failure. He was found to have been 
tampering with the Earl of Tweeddale, assisted therein by Patrick Scott of 
Langshaw, one of the tutors who was considered as a friend of the Countess. 

In the Memoir of Earl Francis, it has been related that certain lands 
were disposed of which had occasioned his ward and marriage to fall into 
the hands of the Crown. The tutors were fully persuaded that the ward 
and marriage of no heir succeeding could thenceforth fall to the Crown. 
The question was, however, again raised after the marriage of the Countess 
Mary, when, according to the statement of Gideon Scott, Sir John Scott of 
Scottstarvit moved General Monck to petition the Protector for the gift. 
This he refused to do. But to provide against this contingency, Highchester, 
who was then in London, made a request to Eichard Cromwell for the gift of 
the ward and marriage to Sir Peter Killigray, with whom an arrangement 
was made to compound for the gift on condition of his being paid the sum 
of £1500 sterling. The retirement of Eichard Cromwell from the Protectorate 
prevented this scheme from completion. 2 

It is a relief to turn from these intrigues to the conduct of the young- 
Countess herself. However reprehensible the proceedings of her relations 
had been, there does not appear to have been any coercion of her inclina- 
tions. On the contrary, the young child- wife evinces a warm attachment 
to her husband. Soon after their separation she sent to him from Dalkeith 
a ring " beset with diamonds, with this reason (motto), ' No love so true 
as mine to you.'" The Countess Mary inherited from her father Earl 
Francis, his amiable and affectionate disposition. A considerable number 
of letters, written with her own hand to her husband during the time of 
1 Abstract of Letters to Sir Gideon Scott. " Information by Sir Gideon Scott. 


her sequestration at the Castle of Dalkeith, are preserved in the Charter- 
room of Lord Polwarth. They are interesting as the productions of a wife 
who had not completed her twelfth year, and in this respect they are probably 
unique. They are addressed to the " Earl of Buccleuch," as it was then 
supposed that a commoner on his marriage with a Peeress in her own right 
became entitled to her dignity by the courtesy. That was the ancient law 
as regards territorial dignities. But courtesy in personal Peerages had ceased 
before the reign of King Charles the Second, who did not acknowledge the 
right of courtesy in Dignities. He created Walter Scott Earl of Tarras for life. 

It will be observed that the letters of the young Countess of 
Buccleuch to her husband are very brief, and generally without 
dates. The seal used on many of the letters had been engraved 
for the occasion. It bears, on a heart surmounted by a coronet, 
two roses on a single stem over two hands clasped, and encircled 
by the motto, " thvs crovnd we flooeish." An engraving of the seal is 
annexed hereto. 

On the same day that the order for her sequestration was passed, the 
26th February 1659, the Countess wrote to her husband from Edinburgh : — 

Edinburgh], 26 Feb. 
Dier Heart,— I am in uery good health and sell be most glead always to 
hier the sam from yow. Be asoored all the aloorments in the world sell neuer 
cheng me from being 

Your most afectionet 

Marie Buccleuch. 
For the Earle of Buccleuche. 

During the separation from her husband, the following letters were 
written by her to him : — 

[No date.] 
My deir Hart, — I can let no opportunity slip without showing yon that I 
am well. I intreat you heast my lady my mother, to 

Your afFectionat 
For the Erie of Buccleuche. Marie Buccleuche. 


[No date.] 
My deie Hart, — It is much ioy to me that I am to sie you the nixt uiek, 
for, beliue it, I am onchensably 

Your most afectionet 

Marie Buccleuche. 

I haue reseued two leters from yow, and this is the thrid I haue ureten to 
yow. My mother is your servant. Present my seruice to my sisters and bilies. 
For the Earle of Buccleuche. 

Dakith, March 1 3. 
My dear Heart, — I am uerie glade to heir that you came so safe to the 
Weemys. Be chearfull, and do not ualue the malis of our enemies, for I shal 
euer be 

Your affectionat 

Marie Buccleuche. 
For the Erie of Buccleuche. 

[No date.] 
My dear Hart, — I haue bee longing to writ to you my self, which I wold 
not neclect so often wer it not you desire me to for fear least it troubles my arme. 
I bles the Lord I am uere weel, and sal euer be 

Your affectionat 

Marie Buccleuch. 

Dear heart, it is my desayer that ye wold tak Williom Morou to be your 
. groom, and sho my lady my mothor that it is your desayr and mine. I shall 
ansueyr for his cairage my selef, for if hie do not carie right hie is content to be 
pot awa. 

For the Earle of Buccleuch. 

[No date.] 
My dearir Hart, — I can not but continu to lat you knou that I am wiell, 
sine I think no news will be mor acceptable to you. I shal haue a caire of my 
halth as you desire, and I hope you will haue a cair of your self. — I am, 

Your affectionat 
Let non sie thes leter. Marie Buccleuche. 

For the Erale of Buccleuche. 


[No date.] 
My dairest Heart, — I am glade to hear that you are weel, and al my frends 
with you. I bles the Lord I am viery weel my self, and I hope my arme is mend- 
ing. I wish thursdey may be a good day, that I may se you, which will giue 
much content to 

Your affectionat 

Marie Buccleuch. 
For the Erie of Buccleuche — thes. 1 

[No date.] 
Dear Heart, — This is to let you know that we are al well heer, and that I 

am stil 

Your affectionat 

Marie Buccleuch. 
For the. Earle of Buccleuche. 

[No date.] 
My deair Heart, — I am uerie will, and shal be the mor chearfull that you 
are so, for nothing can so much mak glad the heart of 

Your affectionat 

Marie Buccleuche. 

My Lord, I hop your lordship will pardon me for not writing to you, bot I 
shall writ the nikes tern. — 1 am, my Lord, your lordship's affecnot cousing and 
humbell seruant, 

Marie Montgomrie. 

For the Earle of Buccleuche. 2 

1 Her husband was permitted by General Earl of Eglinton, and Lady Mary Leslie, and 
Monck to visit the Countess frequently. was cousin-german of the Countess of Buo- 
On one of these occasions the Countess of cleuch. A legacy of £10,000 Scots was left 
Wernyss writes to Highchester : — " Your to her by the Countess, but the will contain- 
son made his visit this day, and carried ing the gift was set aside by a subsequent 
himself to my mind." testament more favourable to the Earls of 

2 Lady Mary Montgomerie, who writes the Rothes and Wemyss, in which the legacy to 
postscript, was the daughter of Hugh, seventh Lady Mary Montgomerie does not appear. 


[No date.] 
My deir Hart, — I kiiou your coming will be no longr delayed then a bout 
the midle of the next week, which will be great content. 

Your affectionat, 

Marie Buccleuch. 
For the Erele of Buccleuche. 

[No date.] 
My deairest Hart, — I am uerie glade I shal be so happie as to sie you the 
nixt week, and tho I be sorie to want my lady my mothers companie so long, 
yet to sie you both together will much reioyse the hart of 

Your affectionat 

Marie Buccleuche. 
My woman presumes to remember Mr blissing to you. 
For the Erie of Buccleuche — Thes. 

[No date.] 
My deair Hart, — I am to sie you in so short a tym that I will say no mor 
bot that I am 

Your afectionet 

Marie Buccleuch. 
For the Earle of Buccleuche. 

[No date.] 
My deairest Hart, — I am glad to heair that ye are will, and that ye had 
such good paseag ouer. I am verie will, I bles the Lord, 1 and to be with you is 
much longed for by 

Your afectionat 

Marie Buccleuche. 
For the Earle of Buccleuche — Thes. 

[No date.] 
My deir Hart, — I am uery will and much the beter of my phisik. I shal 
uish ye may also tak sum, and the ducter sell be snt ouir to yow. 

Your affectionet 
For the Erie of Buccleuche. Marie Buccleuche. 

1 The words, " I bles the Lord," are inter- mainder of the letter is holograph of the 
lined hy the Countess of Wemyss ; the re- Countess Mary. 

: %aim£ 


[No date.] 
My dearist Heart, — I am varie glecl to hier that ye ar will. It dos ad 
much satisfaction to me. I will intret you to be merie, for I hop the tem is nier 
nou when I shall sie you eurie day. — I am, 

Your affecnot wief tell deth, 

Marie Buccleuche. 

When Highchester was occupied in London with the affairs of the Coun- 
tess, she wrote to his wife : — 

Dalkith, done 10, 1659. 
Mistres, — I liaue sent thes berer that therby I may haue the satisfaction to 
knou hou ye ar. I intret ye may not think tou long for your hosband retourn since 
hes being ther does the gretest fauor to me that I can reseue, who shall euer be 
redie to aprou my self 

Your affectionat doughter and seruant, 

Marie Buccleuche. 

I disyr my loue may be presented to all your cheldren. 
For my honoured lady the Lady Haychesters. 

Shortly before the term of her sequestration had elapsed, the Countess 
Mary wrote to her mother-in-law : — 

Dalkith, 17 Aug' (1659). 
Mistres, — Thes leter cam from your hosband yester night bay the post, and 
I am gled aneay ocsion that I may knou hou ye ar, which I desayer you will 
caus ane other geue me en acount of lest it trubll your self. Present my loue to 
all your cheldern, and estiem me euer 

Your affecneot doughter and humbll seruant, 

Marie Buccleuche. 
My lady my mother remembers her serues to you. 
For my honoured lady the Lady Haychisters. 

1 This letter is written and signed in was probably written near the end of the 

another handwriting, apparently that of her term of the sequestration of Countess Mary, 
cousin Lady Mary Montgomerie. The letter 

VOL. I. 3 A 


The affection of the Countess Mary for her younger sister, and her fears 
lest the proceedings of those acting contrary to her might result in a separa- 
tion of the sisters, are expressed in a letter to High Chester, dated 14th June 
1G59, in which she writes — "As ye have been at much pains for me since 
your going from this, so am I very afraid ye must be still at more for my 
dear little sister, who our adversaries would have taken from her mother and 
me. And I intreat you not to weary in doing me and the family ye have soe 
near relation to so good service ; for if my sister were taken from us, I doe 
think she were lost, it would break her spirit. Your sone is well, and I hop 
ye will belive that nothing in my power shall be wanting to declaire with 
what sinceritie I am y r our very affectionat daughter and servant." 1 

The dislike which the Countess of Wemyss bore to the family of Tweed- 
dale was shared by her daughter, in whom she had succeeded in impressing 
an unfavourable opinion of the Earl and Countess of Tweeddale. Writing 
to Highchester in March 1659, while the Countess Mary was residing at 
Dalkeith Castle, the Countess of Wemyss informs him that " the Countesse 
of Tweeddaill visited the Countess of Buccleuch, who were verie sharpe one 
to another." 2 

During the stay of the Countess of Buccleuch at Dalkeith, the malady 
in her arm still remained uncured. The Countess of Wemyss expresses her 
hopes in June 1659 that her daughter was progressing so favourably she 
would in two months be perfectly well. About the same date she states 
that one Doctor Borthwick had undertaken the cure for £100. The Countess 
Mary was intrusted to his care, but his unskilful treatment had a very 
alarming result. He had given orders that a plaster which he had applied 
should not be removed, notwithstanding any pain which the Countess might 
suffer. The nurse followed his directions, but the pain during the night 
becoming intolerable, General Monck was aroused, who immediately caused 
the removal of the plaster, and on observing the effect it had produced, was 
indignant at the conduct of the surgeon in prescribing such treatment. The 
1 Abstract of Letters to Sir Gideon Seott. - Ibid. 


Countess of Wemyss and her advisers resolved to cause an inquiry to be 
made so soon as the judicatories were established, but no further action 
seems to have been taken in the affair. 

The period of the sequestration of the Countess of Buccleuch ordained 
by the Commissioners elapsed on the 31st August 1659, on which day she 
attained her twelfth year. Measures were at once taken to ratify tbe 
marriage. On the 2d September the Countess and ber husband met at Leith 
in presence of General Monck and others, when they solemnly declared their 
adherence to the marriage, and subscribed a declaration to that effect as 
follows : — 

We, Marie, Countess of Bucclewch, and Walter Scott, now off Buccleuch, my 
husband, both with one consent, be thir presents declair that of our owne full, 
frie, deliberat will and consent, vpon the nynt of Feberwary last bypast, in this 
instant yeir of God j m vi c fiftie nyn yeirs, we were solemnly in face of holy church 
and compleitly maried with the countenance and consent off many of our freinds; 
which mariage we (being now past pupullarity, and vnquestionably of perfyte and 
mariagable age) per verba de presenti doe againe by a full, frie, voluntare, and 
deliberat consent ratifie, renew, and aprove, with all the promises and conjugall 
oblishments then made in face of holy church ; and for the mair securitie we ar 
content, and consents that thir presentts be registrat in the Books of Sessioun or 
Court of Justice, and in the Commissar Court Bookes of Edinburgh, Shirreff Court 
Books theroff, or in the bookes of quhatsomever wther ordinary judicatory within 
this natioun for the tyme, therin to remaine for preservation, and for regisratting 
heiroff constitutes our procurators. In witness quhairoff we 

hawe swbscryvit thir presentts with our hands (wrettine be Lawrence Malcolme, 
servitor to the Earle of Wemyss) at Leith, the second day of September j m vi c 
fyftie nyn years, befoir thir witness David Earle of Weymes, Sir James Murray 
of Skirling, William Scott of Heidshaw, William Scott, yowngei of Tushillaw. 

Wemyss, wittnes. Marie Buccleuche. 

William Scott, wittnes. Walter Scott of Buccleuche. 1 

J. Murray, witnes. 

No sooner had the marriage of the Countess Mary been ratified than the 
1 Original Declaration in Lord Pohvarth's Charter-room. 


Countess of Wemyss, always suspicious of the designs of the Earl of Tweed- 
dale, took measures to secure the custody of the Lady Anna Scott. For this 
purpose a commission was granted to Gideon Scott of Highchester in Sep- 
tember 1659, giving him full power to present petitions in the name of the 
Countess of Buccleuch to the Parliament of the Commonwealth, the Council 
of State, or any other Court or competent jurisdiction, for securing her person 
in the custody of the Countess of Wemyss, failing whom by deceas